Tuesday, September 24, 2013

An Apple a Day!

Why should we eat an apple a day? There are a number of reasons:

  • Reduce your Cholesterol Level: The soluble fiber in apples clings to fats in your intestine to reduce overall cholesterol levels.
  • Make your heart healthy: Lower cholesterol levels lead to a slower buildup of plaque in the arteries. The phenolic compound found in apple skins also helps prevent cholesterol from solidifying on the artery walls and clogging them, which would lead to reduced blood flow to the heart and thus coronary artery disease.
  • Have Healthy White Teeth: Although an apple can't replace a toothbrush. . .eating one stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth, lowering the bacteria level in the mouth and thus reducing tooth decay.
  • Decrease the risk of Diabetes: Apples are loaded with soluble fiber which reduces blood sugar swings.
  • Slow Cancer Formation: Many types of cancer growth have been proven to slow with the consumption of an apple a day. Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research report that an apple a day helps reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer. Cornell researchers found compounds in apple peel (triterpenoids) that fight cancer growth in the breast, colon and liver. The National Cancer Institute recommends a high fiber diet to reduce the risk of colorectal cancer.
  • Prevent gallstones: Gallstones form if there's too much cholesterol in your bile to remain liquid, so it solidifies. This is most common in the obese. So again, grab an apple a day like the doctor recommends.
  • Become "regular": Whether you're constipated or have the runs, the fiber in apples can help. It either pulls water out of the colon to keep things moving or absorbs excess water from the stool to slow things down. This can also help avoid the development of hemorrhoids which form from too much pressure when using the bathroom. The symptoms of IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) can also be controlled with a diet high in fiber (and avoiding dairy and fatty foods).
  • Avoid Alzheimer's: Studies with mice show that just drinking apple juice fights the effects of aging on the brain. These mice showed higher levels of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter, and did better in maze tests than those without apples.
  • Protect against Parkinson's: Research shows that people who eat high fiber fruits gain some protection against Parkinson's disease, which is a breakdown of the brain's dopamine producing nerve cells. This has been linked to the antioxidants.
  • Weight control: To manage weight and thus improve overall health, doctors recommend a diet rich in fiber - an apple a day. Foods high in fiber fill you up without a lot of calories.
  • Liver detoxification: The liver is responsible for clearing the toxins that are constantly consumed back out of the body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. But all doctors seem to recommend an apple a day.
  • Boost the immune system: Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin which can help boost the immune system, especially when you're stressed out. This antioxidant has also recently been linked to a decrease in the development of cataracts.

There are so many other benefits to eating an apple a day and with such a large variety coming into season, consider starting a new, healthy habit.

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