An Apple a Day?
Apples are a staple in lunchboxes and kitchens across the country, but is the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’ actually truthful?
It turns out it is! The popular fruit, enjoyed in everything from juice to the American classic apple pie, has many health benefits that will help you stay healthy and can even help prevent some chronic diseases. One study found that an extract from apples with their skin on inhibited the growth of liver cancer cells by over 50%.1
Apples are full of nutrients that make them a great choice for daily snacking. A medium-sized apple contains just 100 calories, and is free of fat and added sugars. They are great for on-the-go eating and can be paired with nut butter for an extra boost of protein.
Many studies have been conducted to figure out what exactly apples are doing for our health, and these studies have had some impressive findings. The phytochemicals in apples, which are compounds in plants that help to protect us from disease, have been shown to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer, and asthma. These phytochemicals, which are also antioxidants, help to aid with breathing and improve overall lung health. 2 Another study determined that the children of women who ate apples during their pregnancy were less likely to develop asthma than the children of mothers who did not regularly eat apples throughout their pregnancy. 3
Apples contain soluble fiber, which has been shown to aid in the prevention of diabetes. This is because the fiber acts to slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream by slowly releasing carbs. To this effect, apples will give you long-lasting energy without a drastic spike in blood sugar levels. This fiber also acts as an immune system booster, it is effective in helping our bodies block the absorption of cholesterol and helps our digestive system functioning properly, keeping our bodies healthy and happy.
Apples are also great for oral health, with some even going as far as calling them ‘nature’s toothbrush.’ While it is not recommended that you swap your toothpaste and toothbrush for an apple, adding an apple to your daily diet could have a positive impact on the health of your mouth. As you eat an apple, it increases the amount of saliva your body produces which in turn lowers the levels of bacteria found in your mouth, leading to healthy pearly-whites.
With around 7,500 varieties, apples are a great and versatile choice for snacking, cooking, and just enjoying in general.4 Apples are a great way to add an extra hit of antioxidants and other health-boosting nutrients, just be sure to enjoy them in the whole form with skin on whenever possible to get the maximum level of nutrients.
So, it turns out your mom was right when she told you to eat your fruits and vegetables. As for the saying, it looks like an apple a day might actually keep the doctor away.
Check out some of our favorite ways to cook with apples:
1. “Phytochemicals in Apples are Found to Provide Anticancer and Anti-Oxidant Benefits, Cornell Researchers Show.” ScienceDaily. Cornell University, 27 June 2000. Web.
2. Hyson, Dianne, Ph.D, R.D. “Apples Offer some Surprising Health Benefits.” Checkup on Health. UC Davis Medical Center, n.d. Web.
3. Willers, S. M., G. Devereux, L. Craig C A, G. McNeill, A. Wijfa H., W. El-Magd Abou, S. Turner W., P. Helms J., and A. Seaton. “Maternal Food Consumption during Pregnancy and Asthma, Respiratory and Atopic Symptoms in 5-year-old Children.” Thorax. BMJ Group, 27 Mar. 2007. Web.
4. “Apples | CUESA.” CUESA. Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, n.d. Web.