October means apple season is in full swing. And while apples are delicious and a great source of fiber, they also have some surprising health benefits. Here are 5 reasons to make sure you include apples in your diet this fall.
1. Apples Can Boost Your Immunity
One of the essential components of a strong immune system is vitamin C, and apples are packed with it. Just one small apple contains approximately 10% of your daily recommended intake of vitamin C. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage and supports a healthy immune system.
Apples are also a good source of vitamin A, which is important for a strong immune system. Vitamin A helps the body’s natural defenses against infection and disease. It also helps to keep the skin and mucous membranes healthy. The body needs vitamin A to form white blood cells, which help to fight infection. Vitamin A is found in both the skin and the flesh of apples, so eating a whole apple is the best way to get the benefits.
In addition, apples contain polyphenols, which are plant-based compounds that have been shown to boost immunity.
Apples contain a type of polyphenol called quercetin. Quercetin is a plant-based compound that has been shown to provide a number of health benefits, including boosting the immune system. One study found that quercetin supplements were able to increase the production of infection-fighting cells in the body. Another study found that quercetin supplements were able to reduce the severity and duration of cold symptoms. Polyphenols like quercetin are just one of the many reasons why apples are often referred to as a “superfood.”
2. Apples Can Help Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes is a serious and growing health concern, with over 29 million Americans affected by the disease. Eating apples has been linked with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is likely due to the fact that apples contain pectin. Pectin helps to slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. Additionally, apples are a good source of antioxidants, which can help improve insulin sensitivity.
3. Apples May Help Lower Cholesterol Levels
One large apple contains about 4 grams of fiber, half of which is pectin. Pectin has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol molecules and removing them from the body before they can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
Research has supported the notion that apples can help reduce cholesterol levels. One study showed that eating two apples a day for four weeks resulted in a seven percent reduction in bad cholesterol and a five percent increase in good cholesterol. Another study found that women who ate an apple a day had lower cholesterol levels and a decreased risk of heart disease. The antioxidants and fiber in apples are thought to be responsible for these benefits.
4. Apples Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy
In addition to reducing cholesterol levels, apples can also help keep your heart healthy by preventing plaque build-up in your arteries. This is thanks to the antioxidants found in apples, which help keep your arteries clear and prevent inflammation. One study published in the “European Journal of Nutrition” showed that eating apples every day for four weeks can reduce bad cholesterol levels by up to 10 percent.
5. Apples Can Aid in Weight Loss
Because they’re high in fiber and water, apples can help you feel fuller longer and prevent overeating throughout the day.
Research indicates that apples may play a role in weight loss. One study showed that obese women who ate an apple before lunch felt more satiated and ate fewer calories than those who didn’t have an apple. Another study found that eating an apple at least three times per day helped participants lose weight and body fat. This may be due to the high fiber and water content of apples, which can help you feel fuller longer and prevent overeating. Additionally, apples are a low calorie food, providing just 95 calories per medium-sized apple. They’re also a good source of energy-boosting phosphorus.
The next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a few extra apples. Not only are they delicious and nutritious, but they also have some impressive health benefits. Apples can boost your immune system, lower your cholesterol levels, and even help you live longer. So stock up while they’re in season and enjoy all the benefits this versatile fruit has to offer.