For those of us in Western North Carolina, fall means apples. And like the old adage says, an apple a day can help to keep the doctor away. Ever wonder why are apples good for you? A diet rich in apples has been associated with a host of health benefits, including weight loss, improved lung function, lower risk of stroke, cancer and heart disease. Here are our top 5 benefits of eating apples and health reasons to enjoy a bountiful apple harvest.
- Apples are a great diet food. Apples have a high water and fiber content, meaning that you’ll feel full longer, with relatively few (about 95) calories. That is one of the reasons why apples are good for you. Their natural sweetness makes them a great snack when cravings hit.
- Apples may reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. An Iowa Women’s Health Study reported that apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Finnish researchers found that frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of stroke compared with non-apple eaters. These heart-healthy benefits can be attributed to antioxidant compounds found in apples, which help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibit inflammation.
- Apples may reduce your risk of diabetes. Research suggests that apple eaters have lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation whose presence in the blood suggests an increased risk for diabetes.
- Eating an apple before you work out may boost your exercise endurance. Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs.
- Just one apple delivers 10% of your daily recommended dose of vitamin C. In addition to boosting your immune system, Vitamin C helps to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals damage strong healthy cells, which increases your risk of illness. Consuming foods rich in antioxidants and vitamin C helps lower your risk of chronic disease.
No matter whether you prefer red delicious, gala or honey crisp, daily consumption of this tasty fruit can help you feel better and improve your health. This fall, experiment with different varieties and recipes to enjoy the benefit of eating apples.