Who’d have thought that the humble apple could have such amazing health benefits?
1. Fighting bad breath. Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odours. Pectin also promotes saliva, which cleanses breath.
2. Preventing asthma attacks. Asthma sufferers often have low levels of antioxidants. Apples are high in vitamin C and flavonoids (beneficial, water-soluble plant pigments). Both are antioxidant. One study found that vitamin C supplements helped protect against exercise-induced asthma.
3. Reducing the risk of stroke. A study involving 9,208 men and women showed that those who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk for stroke. Researchers concluded that the results suggest the intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.
4. Preventing constipation. Fresh apples are high in fibre, which adds bulk to the stool. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fibre, or roughage.
5. Combating fatigue. The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in apples counter the free radicals leading to oxidative stress, which has been linked to fatigue.
6. Reducing the risk of diabetes. The phytonutrients (beneficial substances found in various plants) in apples help regulate blood sugar. These compounds help prevent spikes in blood sugar in a variety of ways: by inhibiting enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars; by stimulating pancreatic cells to produce insulin; by decreasing the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
Compared to other commonly consumed fruits these nutritional powerhouses rank second for highest antioxidant activity. However, they ranked highest in the proportion of free phenolic compounds—substances not bound to other compounds in the fruit and thus more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. So stock up on a good supply of apples for this season. And don’t cut off the peels. They contain much of apples’ fibre and antioxidant power.
Article thanks to Everyday Health.