Apples healthy? Yes, even though I know I wrote not long ago about some of the health challenges of eating too much fruit, but I want to make it clear again that I don’t suggest eliminating fruit completely from your diet. Simply enjoy a wide variety in moderation.
One of the fruits I hope you include regularly in your healthy lifestyle is apples.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
While I don’t really want to be “kept away” – it brings back images of movie heroes hanging garlic in the window to keep out vampires – I do want you to choose healthy eating practices.
The original proverb from the 1800’s actually said “Eat an apple before going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”
Why Are Apples Healthy?
Apples contain lots of vitamins C and A, as well as the minerals phosphorous, iron and calcium. They’re a source of potassium, which is helpful for your health and cellular energy. They are packed with flavanoids and polyphenols, which are also known as antioxidants.
Back in 2000, it was reported that researchers from Cornell University found that eating 100g of apple “gave an anti-oxidant effect equivalent to taking some 1,500 mg of vitamin C.”
Apples Appear to Fight Cancer Growth
The researchers reported that some of the antioxidants found in apples were known to be anti-carcinogenic. They tested these functions in the lab and found that the antioxidants in the apple skin were found to be even more powerful than the flesh at inhibiting cancer cell growth, although both had a helpful effect.
Other studies have indicated that the antioxidant chemicals in apples can help fight cancers in the liver, colon, breast and pancreas.
Apples Help Curb Hunger
Because apples are rich in soluble fiber (5 grams each), they are excellent “healthy snacks” and can help curb hunger. They’re portable so they’re easy to grab on the go. One study in Brazil indicated that women who ate an apple before a meal lost 33% more weight than those who didn’t, so they may be a good choice of fruit during weight loss.
Apples Reduce Diabetes Risk
That same fiber in apples seems to help decrease diabetes risk. It’s been reported that women who eat at least one apple daily are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes. The apple’s soluble fiber seems to reduce blood sugar swings. The fiber helps with constipation too.
Apples May Reduce Gallstone Risk
One side effect of overcoming obesity and losing significant amounts of weight is that gall stone risk (Cholelithogenesis) can go up. The malic acid naturally contained in apples has a softening effect on gallstones and may help reduce their formation.
Choose Organic Apples
The downside of apple consumption is that if you don’t buy organic, you’re choosing one of the most heavily pesticide-contaminated fruits. If you can’t buy organic, soak your apples in water containing 5% vinegar, and then rinse well to remove as many contaminants as possible and get your apples healthy.
Sugar-free Applesauce Recipe
You can make a healthy applesauce by peeling and coring 2 lbs of apples (try leaving the skin on a few for texture and extra nutrients). Cut them into roughly 1” cubes and add to a pot with a cup of water, ¾ tsp cinnamon, ¼ tsp sea salt, and a pinch of nutmeg. Cover and bring to a boil on medium heat, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 20 mins. Stir frequently, and add more water if necessary during cooking. When soft, mash with a potato masher to your desired consistency. A delicious way to add apples to your diet, this applesauce can be served warm or cold.