Monday, 22 January 2018

Health

Fantastic Benefits Of Apples

Rhoda Oresanwo

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is an old Welsh proverb that most of us are familiar with, but what’s so special about the fruit?

As one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world, apples are continuously being praised as a "miracle food".

Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fibre.

The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease.

This article provides a nutritional profile of the fruit and its possible health benefits. It also discusses the possible risks and precautions and some frequently asked questions.

Aids Digestion

Apples, being rich in fibre, help in the digestive process. Regular consumption of apples ensures smooth bowel movements, prevention of constipation, and stomach disorders. Fibre is an important part of any diet. It adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass through the digestive tract smoothly. Furthermore, it stimulates peristaltic motion so the muscles contract appropriately and move food along. Finally, it stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to ensure efficient uptake of nutrients, while simultaneously scraping excess cholesterol out of your veins and arteries to ensure proper heart health and reduce the chances of atherosclerosis.

Prevent Cancer

The role of apples in cancer prevention has been a subject of study for some time. While they have shown moderate improvement in treating various types of cancer, particularly breast and colon cancer, the most significant discoveries have been regarding lung cancer. Apples show a distinct and undeniable capacity to reduce lung cancer and slow its spread if it does develop. Hypotheses usually speak about the high phytonutrient content, including kaempferol and quercetin, but the exact mechanism for apples’ impact on cancer is still to be known.

Improve Intestinal Health

One of the most essential and overlooked parts of our health is the beneficial bacteria living in our body. Apples specifically help to improve the functioning of the bacteria living in our large intestine. Early studies show that apples stimulate metabolism within the digestive tract and also balance the bacteria, which leads to an improved health by maximizing nutrient uptake and eliminating harmful bacteria and toxins.

Treats Anaemia

Apples are useful in treating anaemia since they are a rich source of iron. Anaemia is a deficiency of haemoglobin in the blood, which can be fixed by increasing your intake of iron. Iron is an integral part of the metabolism of red blood cells. By increasing the number of red blood cells in the body, you not only prevent anaemia but also ensure a proper oxygenation of essential organ systems to keep them functioning properly.

Reduce Weakness

Apples are known to remove weakness, add vigour and vitality to weak people. Therefore patients are always given apples to help them recover quickly from their illnesses. If you want to gain weight, apples should be a part of your daily diet. They help in detoxifying the body and improving the overall health. Although apples don’t contain a significant amount of protein, the combination of the antioxidant compounds and the protein found in apples can have a major role in preventing weakness and improving the muscle tone.

Control Diabetes

Blood sugar control is essential for people who suffer from diabetes and the polyphenols in apples have been directly linked to reducing the uptake of carbohydrates by the body. This, in turn, reduces the fluctuation of blood sugar levels that occur in the bloodstream, an important factor for helping to keep diabetes in check. The polyphenols also lower glucose absorption in our digestive tract and they stimulate the release of insulin from our pancreas, which is necessary to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Finally, the polyphenols stimulate the insulin receptors on cells throughout our body, which speeds up the removal of sugar from our bloodstream and gets it to our cells for metabolism and proper organ function.

Dental Care

Eating apples help in cleaning both, the teeth and gums. Furthermore, it reduces the incidence of cavities in the teeth. When you eat apples, the fibre in them cleanses the teeth, while the antibacterial properties of these fruits keep bacteria and viruses from infecting the body. Eating apples also stimulate the secretion of saliva, which is an alkaline compound, meaning that it further reduces the ability of bacteria to multiply and grow in your mouth.

Treat Respiratory Issues

Our respiratory system is highly susceptible to inflammation and a number of respiratory conditions are directly related to an inflammation of membranes and cells in the system. Asthma is perhaps the most serious condition, as it can be fatal in severe cases. Apples have shown tremendous anti-inflammatory behaviour and in terms of asthma, they have stood out among other natural treatments, even superseding the benefits of consuming fruits and vegetables in combination. Apples remain a mystery to the world in terms of their complex mechanisms of healing these conditions, most likely because there are so many possible nutrients found in them that could potentially be responsible for the health perks!

Prevent Heart Diseases

Apples lower the level of cholesterol in the body, making it a strong defensive mechanism against cardiovascular diseases. The adage of ‘an apple a day keeping the doctor away’ is more accurate than you’d think since the daily dose of an apple deemed healthy for the human heart. The antioxidant property of apples reduces the oxidation of fats, called lipid peroxidation and neutralizes triglycerides and various fats found in blood vessels that can exert dangerous pressure. Also, apples contain a very powerful flavonoid called quercetin, which is found in the skin of the fruit. It can reduce inflammation in our blood vessels by reducing the amount of C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein has been linked to inflammation of the cardiovascular system, so a reduction of it through quercetin makes apples very strong heart boosters.