am pretty sure you have heard the quote of Welsh origin, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Unlike a couple of clichés we daily spew, these words are not far-fetched.
Factually, apples were ranked first in Medical News Today’s featured article about the top 10 healthy foods. Why? That will be revealed shortly, however, let us begin with the obvious:
The apple tree Malus pumila is a tree in the rose family best known for its edible and sweet fruit, the apple. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today.
Apples have been existed for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and were brought to North America by European colonists. Surprisingly, apples have religious and mythological significance in certain cultures like Norse, Greek, and European Christian traditions.
Variety is the spice of apples as there are more than 7,500 known varieties of apples in red, green and yellow colours.
What Makes Apples So Healthy?
The fact that apples come in edible ‘packaging’ suggests the nutritional benefits of this wonder fruit.
They are also packed with anti-oxidants as revealed by the 2004 USDA scientists’ investigation into 100 foods to ascertain their antioxidant concentration per serving size in which two types of apples, namely, Red Delicious and Granny Smith emerged 12th and 13th respectively.
Anti-oxidants are simply compounds that fight diseases. The impressive of health benefits ascribed to apples is also due to the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and organic compounds found in them.
These nutritional elements include vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, and riboflavin. Apples also contain minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
Apples are also packed with phytonutrients and flavonoids like quercetin, epicatechin, phloridzin, and other polyphenolic compounds. Apples are good sources of dietary fiber and a single serving provides 12% of the daily fiber requirement of an individual.
· Improves Neurological Functions.
The antioxidant effect of the phytonutrient compounds in apples helps to curb Alzheimer’s diseases since the degeneration of the brain that leads to the disease is linked to free radical activity.
Apples also increase the amount of acetylcholine in the brain, which is linked to concentration, problem-solving, and memory.
A study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that consuming apple juice could increase the production of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain, thus improving one’s memory.
· Eases Digestion
Apples, being rich in fiber, aid digestion. Regular consumption of apples ensures smooth bowel movements, stomach disorders, and prevents constipation. Fiber is an important part of every diet.
It adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass through the digestive tract smoothly. Furthermore, it stimulates peristaltic motion so the muscles contract appropriately and move food along.
Finally, it stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to ensure efficient uptake of nutrients, while simultaneously scraping excess cholesterol out of your veins and arteries to ensure proper heart health and reduce the chances of atherosclerosis.
· Improves Respiration
Our respiratory system is prone to inflammation and other respiratory conditions. These are directly related to an inflammation of membranes and cells in the system. Asthma is perhaps the most serious condition, as it can be fatal in severe cases.
Apples have shown tremendous anti-inflammatory behavior and in terms of asthma, they have stood out among other natural treatments, even superseding the benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables in combination!
Eating apples also clean teeth and gums, controls diabetes, treats rheumatism, prevents heart diseases, reduces weakness, improves vision and for cancer treatment among other amazing benefits.
With its numerous benefits, be sure to eat an apple every day! TGIF!