10 Ways Apples Can Boost Your Overall Health
You know what they say: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. As it turns out, that statement does have some truth to it. Apples offer numerous health benefits that can help you feel healthier and avoid illness. Eating this fruit regularly is a great way to treat yourself to a sweet (or tart) snack while also giving your body a little health boost. Check out this list of 10 remarkable health benefits you can get from eating one of the most affordable and delicious fruits available.
1. Apples Can Lower Your Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol can lead to several health problems in the long run. By eating apples, you consume high amounts of fiber and phytonutrients, which can lower your "bad" low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and total cholesterol levels. One study found that eating two apples a day significantly lowered serum cholesterol levels and improved the overall cardiovascular health of hypercholesterolemic (a condition that causes severely elevated cholesterol levels) adults. Therefore, eating apples may be an easy way to lower your cholesterol.
2. Apples Improve Your Digestion
If you have digestive difficulties, apples are an easy way to get your system back on track. These fruits are packed with fiber, which helps regulate your digestive system and also promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in your colon. That means regular, smooth bowel movements and less pain and discomfort from indigestion and constipation. In the long run, apples can also help you avoid certain stomach disorders by keeping your digestive system in check.
3. Apples Give You an Energy Boost
The natural sugars in apples are good for more than just their sweet taste. They also provide a natural energy boost while stabilizing your blood sugar. That's why apples are a great choice for an early-morning snack or a post-workout treat. They taste great and also give you the perk-up you need without having to drink caffeine or energy drinks.
4. Apples Are an Effective Anemia Treatment
Apples are packed with iron, so they offer a convenient way to treat anemia. Iron increases hemoglobin levels in your body, which counteracts the effects of anemia. That's why it can help to eat an apple if you feel weak or faint. The natural sugars combined with the iron content will help give you the boost you need to feel alert again.
5. Apples Reduce Your Risk of Cancer
Apples have several health benefits that may help to reduce your risk of getting certain types of cancer. The phytonutrients in apples have many antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, which have been shown to prevent cancer growth and development. The fiber in apples helps regulate your digestive system, lowering your chance of getting colon cancer. Furthermore, several studies have shown a strong link between eating apples regularly and a reduced risk of breast cancer. Apples are also one of the few fruits that have been shown to lower the risk of lung cancer. Overall, apples are quite exceptional in the area of cancer prevention.
6. Apples Also Reduce Your Risk of Cardiovascular Disease
Apples are often noted for their rich antioxidant content. As it turns out, these antioxidants are what actually make apples one of the more heart-healthy fruits. By consuming apples, you can protect against cholesterol buildup in your arteries and high blood pressure. This lowers the risk of chronic cardiovascular problems, including atherosclerosis, heart attack and stroke. Because the risk of developing heart problems increases with age, it's never too late to start adding apples to your diet to improve your heart health.
7. Apples Can Provide Asthma Relief
If you have asthma, consuming apples can help give you a little relief from your symptoms. The antioxidants found in apples reduce inflammation and protect against oxidative damage in your lungs. Studies have linked apple intake to a reduction in wheezing and other breathing problems associated with asthma. Pregnant people can also take steps to prevent asthma in their developing babies by eating apples during pregnancy.
8. Apples Play a Role in the Prevention and Management of Diabetes
Many studies have linked the regular consumption of apples to a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes. Eating apples regularly can not only prevent this disease but can also help individuals with diabetes manage their symptoms and prevent long-term effects, including neuropathy, kidney disease and vision problems.
This is because apples contain high levels of soluble fiber, such as pectin, which helps maintain steady blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar into your bloodstream. Furthermore, the polyphenols in apples protect the insulin-producing beta cells of your pancreas from damage and therefore also help to improve your body’s regulation of blood sugar.
9. Apples Provide Immune System Support
Many nutrients in apples, including vitamin C and other antioxidants, are known to boost your immune system by supporting healthy immune cell function and protecting against oxidative stress. The high fiber content in apples can also boost your immune system. Research has shown that a diet rich in fiber can enhance immune function and even protect against illnesses, including the flu. Next time you begin to feel a little under the weather, grab an apple.
10. Apples Work to Prevent Alzheimer's Disease
One of the most amazing health benefits of apples is their ability to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Several studies have found that many of the antioxidants in apples protect brain cells from damage and improve cognition. Apples have also been shown to preserve levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that’s known to decrease with age, to help prevent age-related mental decline.
Next time you're at the grocery store, consider picking up a few of your favorite apples. Whether you're trying to be healthier or just living your life, they're a great choice for a wellness-boosting snack.
Medical content reviewed by Kelsey Powell, MS, Medical Sciences