- Written by Dr. Stephanie Shelburne Dr. Stephanie Shelburne
“Eat an apple on going to bed and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."
Can it really be that simple? Apples are not only delicious and lovely to look at but they are also a wealth of amazing health benefits. An apple a day is no idle claim. Apples contain significant amounts of fiber, flavor, and flavonoids, and a number of other nutrients that contribute to your health and wellbeing. Who doesn’t want all of that in their daily diet? The benefits of the humble little apple don't stop there...
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
Apples contain a multitude of macronutrients like fiber, micronutrients like Vitamin C and phytonutrients like Quercetin. Eating an apple can:
Boost your Immune Function
Vitamin C and Quercetin are powerhouses for immune function. While an apple really only has about 12 mg of Vitamin C it contains the phytonutrient Quercetin and when these two decide to work together they pack a punch. The quercetin in a medium apple coupled with the 12 mg’s of Vitamin C can provide the same amount of free radical fighting power as about 1,500 mg of Vitamin C alone.
Regulate your Blood Sugar
Apples contain more phytonutrients than just Quercetin. Alpha-amylase and alpha-glucosidase are two lovely little enzymes that help break down carbohydrates, which gives your own blood sugar a little bit of a break while you are digesting. In addition, the Polyphenols in an apple have been shown to decrease glucose absorption by your intestinal tract, while increasing glucose uptake in your blood stream. All of this contributes to keeping your blood sugar levels smooth and easy. (which has the added benefit of helping you balance your mood and energy)
Increase your Cardiovascular Health
Research suggests that the fiber and pectin found in apples can significantly lower blood fat or lipids. Triglycerides and cholesterol both are impacted by the fiber and pectin in an apple. Recent research suggests that eating an apple a day can have similar impact as taking statins, but without all the side effects.
But wait there's more...
nom, nom, num, crunch, crunch, crunch
Balance your Hormones
The trace minerals in Apples such as Boron and Potassium help regulate estrogen and reduce the impact of xeno-estrogens. Boron also seems to increase the potential for calcium intake in your bones.
Whiten your Teeth
The Malic Acid found in apples is a natural stain remover. Eat an apple and smile, smile, smile.
Flatten your Belly
Apples can help you lose weight and flatten your belly. The sweetness of apples satisfies sweet cravings and their fiber balances your blood sugar, helping you feel more satisfied for a longer period. Apples also contribute significantly to the bacterial balance in your Large Intestine; which equates better digestive function and decreased inflammation in the gut. All of that results in a happier and healthier you!
So, if apples are such a wonder food... what's the catch?
YOU HAVE TO ACTUALLY EAT THE APPLE IN ITS UNADULTERATED, LOVELY WHOLE FOOD FORM.
What's more? Apples also have an amazing and fascinating natural history woven through our human experience.