We’ve all heard the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and it turns out there may be some truth to it. Apples are packed with vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients beneficial to human health. And, with more than 2,500 different types of apples grown in the United States alone, there’s more than enough variety to satisfy every palette. Here are just a few of apple’s health-boosting benefits:
- One large apple contains almost a third of the recommended daily minimum of dietary fiber. Found mostly in the form of pectin, the fiber from apples may be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels.
- The skin of red apples contains natural food pigments called anthocyanins that may help prevent cell damage by ridding the body of free radicals.
- Apples contain antioxidants, such a quercetin, that may offer protection against cancer and relieve allergy symptoms. One study found that two-thirds of a medium-sized apple provided antioxidant activity equal to a 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C.
- Long-term daily consumption of apples has been linked to positive health outcomes in recent studies, including better lung function and reduced risk of lung cancer, as well as a lower risk of stroke.
- When eating an apple, don’t peel it! The majority of the healthful fiber and antioxidants found in apples are in the skin of the fruit. And, most of an apple’s vitamin C is lost when it is juiced or cooked, so it’s best to enjoy them fresh.
What is your favorite variety of apple? Comment below!
“Apples Offer Some Surprising Health Benefits” by Dianne Hyson, PhD, RD, UC Davis Medical Center, www.ucdmc.ucdavis.edu, 2016
Wellness Foods A to Z by Sheldon Margen, MD, and the Editors of the UC Berkeley Wellness Letter ($39.95, Rebus, 2002)