The old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has roots that can be traced back to the mid-1800s. Naturally, one might assume that such outdated advice would have little value today. While an apple a day indeed lacks the ability to reduce the frequency of your doctor’s visits, adding the fruit to your diet could improve your health in several ways. Here’s a look at the many benefits of apples.
Apples are highly nutritious, delivering a considerable dose of fiber at just 95 calories on average. They also have 9% of your daily value of vitamin C, which helps neutralize harmful free radicals and works to protect the body against illness. Apples also have antioxidants such as caffeic acid, quercetin, and epicatechin.
Regularly eating an apple could reduce your risk of several chronic illnesses, including heart disease. Experts suspect this could be due to the flavonoids in the fruit, which curb inflammation and promote heart health. They also contain soluble fiber, which helps to control blood pressure and cholesterol.
The antioxidants in apples, including flavonoids, could help to reduce cancer risk. Eating more apples has been linked to a reduced risk of lung cancer and colorectal cancer. A diet that prioritizes fruits and vegetables could also help prevent against cancer in the stomach, lungs, colon, oral cavity, and esophagus.
In addition to the benefits listed above, regular consumption of apples supports weight management, can reduce the risk of osteoporosis, and may prevent against cognitive decline. Apples can also control the risk of diabetes and asthma.
Of course, there’s always the potential to have too much of a good thing, and rapidly increasing your apple intake may backfire. For example, the fiber in apples could lead to stomach issues, such as gas and bloating. Apples are also fairly high in carbohydrates, so people following certain diets, such as the ketogenic diet, may need to avoid or reduce their apple intake.
Ultimately, eating a varied diet with many different fruits and vegetables is likely best if you’re seeking the greatest health benefits. While you can certainly aim to eat more apples, you might also consider swapping them out with other fruits and vegetables as well—especially those packed with nutrients. Bananas, blueberries, carrots, kale, broccoli, grapefruit, spinach, raspberries, peaches, pears, pineapples, and strawberries are all good options to consider.
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