Yes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has more truth behind it than ever before, as the superfood powers of apples continue to be unveiled by researchers. Apples are fat, cholesterol and sodium free, a good source of dietary fiber, and have been linked to prevention of several chronic diseases, like heart disease and cancer. Apples also aid in weight loss, lower cholesterol and protect bones.
Apples are rich in antioxidants, molecules that help prevent free radicals from damaging the body’s cells during oxidation. The antioxidants in apples have been linked to a reduced onset of lung, breast and colon cancers. Antioxidants in apples have also been shown to lower the incidence of cardiovascular diseases, asthma and diabetes.
In one 2012 study (published in the Journal of Functional Foods), participants who ate an apple a day for 4 weeks lowered blood levels of LDL (or bad cholesterol) by as much as 40 percent in comparison with those who did not. High cholesterol increases one’s risk for heart disease.
Several Cornell University research studies have linked apple consumption to a reduced onset of breast cancer. One study found apple extracts to inhibit the size of mammary tumors, including a type of adenocarcinoma (a highly malignant tumor and the main cause of death in breast-cancer patients).
The superfood powers of apples don’t stop there. Fiber in apples is known for creating a feeling of fullness in one’s body, which may aid in weight loss. One large apple contains 5 grams of fiber. Fiber also helps with digestion, and may lower the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Apples contain a phloridzin, a flavonoid that may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis. They also contain bone-protecting boron. Apples have vitamin C and B, which means they promote skin health.
As you can see, apples are a clear winner when it comes to nutrition. Read more about apples and heart health on our blog, and get our list of 31 nutritious ways to enjoy apples and pears while you are there too.