It’s the day of the apple. Don’t you love these National Celebration Days – like every other day is National Margarita Day. Cheers to that! No, seriously, today is National Apple Day in the US! And who doesn’t love an apple?? And more importantly a trip to the farm to go apple picking. It’s that time of year – apple pie, apple crisp, apple cider. But what are the health benefits of apples?? We all hear that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but is it true?
Health Benefits of Apples
- Nutritious – Clearly apples are incredibly nutritious, but why? Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C. They also contain polyphenols, which are plant-based micronutrients that improve digestion, weight loss, and even heart health.
- Weight loss – Apples may aid weight loss in several ways. Their fiber content helps slow digestion which keeps you full longer. The fiber can also aid in acid reflux, constipation and diarrhea. What an amazing fruit.
- Heart healthy – Apples promote heart health in several ways. They’re high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol. They also have polyphenols, which are linked to lower blood pressure and stroke risk. The fiber in the peel may actually protect the heart vessels from heart damage. One additional study even indicated the eating an apple a day is the equivalent of taking a statin, and potentially reducing mortality in the same fashion.
- Lower risk of diabetes – Eating apples is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is possibly due to their polyphenol antioxidant content, which may protect the cells of the pancreas.
- Probiotic effects – The type of fiber in apples feeds good bacteria and may be the reason they protect against obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes. Pectin is found in apples and it known to function as an amazing prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria in the gut.
- Prevents cancer – Apples have several naturally occurring compounds that may help fight cancer. How? They may protect your cells’ DNA from oxidative damage. Observational studies have linked them to a lower risk of cancer and death from cancer.
- Protects your brain – According to animal studies, apple juice may help prevent the decline of neurotransmitters that are involved in memory. How? Apples and apple juice increases the concentration of acetylcholine in the system, a neurotransmitter known to diminish in Alzheimer’s Disease.
Our Favorite Apple Recipes
Apple Coconut Vanilla Matcha Green Smoothie
Chai Spiced Maple Apple Pecan Oatmeal
- Chai Spiced Maple Apple Pecan Oatmeal – I seriously think we added every fall ingredient to this one dish, and it worked! Loaded with warmth and comfort, this oatmeal will keep you full all morning long! Only 345 calories, 9g of fiber, and 8g of protein!
An simple apple can still serve as one of the best snacks around, full of antioxidants and fiber, yet low in sugar and calories. Throw one in your backpack, duffel, or even purse and you are set for your afternoon. And if you’re like our kids, add a dollop of peanut butter and you have a hearty snack or even lunch. How do you enjoy apples? Let us know below in the comments!