Nature's Perfect Food and the Facts: The Apple
Some believe that apples are the king of all fruits. It dates back to the dawn of time, when it featured prominently in the story of the Garden of Eden. Apples are believed to date back as far as 8000 years ago and are believed to originally come from the Middle East.
You can find apples in the supermarket all year round and they are known to be extremely healthy for you. Not only is it a good food to eat, in some populations it has been used for healing. No longer a folk remedy, the apple has been found in modern times to promote health in many ways.
History of Apples
This is one of the oldest fruits known to man. Research has found evidence that apples have been in existence from earlier than 6500 BC. The apple was on the list of favorite foods to eat by the Ancient Romans and the Ancient Greeks. Back in Nordic traditions, the apple was believed to be magical, allowing for people to live eternally. Apples have come far from being “magical” but they still have health benefits we can enjoy today.
Nutrition Facts for Apples
- Apples are an excellent source of fiber—both insoluble fiber and soluble fiber
- They are rich in vitamin C (as is true of almost all fruits)
- They contain potassium, which is well known for its health benefits to the heart.
- You can find a wide variety of B complex vitamins in apples, including vitamin B6, thiamin, and riboflavin
- Apples contain phytochemicals, specifically polyphenols. Polyphenols include plordizin, anthocyanins, catechins, chlorogenic acid, and flavonols, particularly quercetin (a flavonols), myricetin, and kaempferol (also flavonols)
- Apples are also high in niacin, folates, vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Vitamin A, thiamin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, niacin, and folates, containing between 1 and 8 percent of the recommended daily value for these healthful vitamins.
- Other nutrients found in apples include Magnesium, iron, calcium, zinc, and phosphorus
- The phytonutrients in apples include lutein-zeaxanthin, crypto-xanthin-beta, and carotene-beta. These phytonutrients have been researched as nutrients your body needs for heart health and for use as anti-oxidants
- They contain no cholesterol
- They are excellent sources of fiber at 11 percent of the recommended daily value
- The catechins in apples include epicatechin, which is especially good for heart health
- Apples are also high in anti-oxidants, which scavenge for oxygen free radicals that damage DNA and can ultimately cause cancer
- Apples are also known to optimize growth, provide healthy wellbeing, and improve developmental processes in children
While the whole apple is considered good for you, most of the nutrients you’ll find in apples are found in the green, yellow, or red skins of apples. This means that, if you want to make apples as healthy as possible for you, you need to keep the skins on and eat them whole.
Low Calorie And No Fat
Apples have less sugar than other fruit and only 50 calories per fruit. There is virtually no fat in apples.
Healthy Benefits of Apples
- Apples are often referred to as “nutritional powerhouses” because of the wide variety of nutrients contained in just one apple.
- Apples are high in antioxidants that lessen the risk of several types of cancer and contain insoluble fiber, which bulk up the stools, preventing colon cancer.
- The vitamins you’ll find in apples help maintain the health of both the nervous system and your red blood cells.
- Apples are good for weight control, whitening your teeth, lowering cholesterol, heart health, and protection against cancer.
- The soluble fiber found in apples help to reduce the body’s cholesterol levels.
- They also lessen the risk of Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease—both neurodegenerative diseases.
- The anti-oxidants in apples help to protect nerve cells by reducing the amount of oxygen free radicals found in these important cells.
- Just one apple a day lessens the chance of developing skin diseases, liver problems, and digestive illnesses.
- Apple cider vinegar reduces the risk of kidney stones.
Other healthy benefits for apples include the treatment of halitosis, neuritis, insomnia, anemia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea, asthma, gallstones, obesity, and arthritis.
They boost the immune system, which is the whole basis of the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”