We remember the days when our mothers used to make that tasty apple juice for us. Or, apple tart. Wasn’t it delicious? When we reached school, we came to know that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apart from being delicious and tasty, apple has excellent nutritional value. How would you have felt when you saw those apple trees whiz past when you drove to the hills? Apple is a deciduous tree that grows best in places with moderate summers and cold winters.
You will be astonished to know there are numerous varieties of apples. Very few are grown commercially, and most of the apple trees grow in the open.
How nutritious are apples?
Let us spend some time in knowing the nutrients present in apples and how useful they are for us. Apples are rich in antioxidants, flavonoids, polyphenols and fibre. These nutrients help in reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes, etc. It also contains Vitamins like Pyridoxine, Riboflavin and Thiamine. Studies suggest that the apple is amongst the healthiest food items to be included in your daily intake.
Health benefits of apples
You will be astonished to know that chewing an apple can improve the condition of your teeth. It enhances the secretion of saliva, which in turn prevents tooth decay. Moreover, the fibre in apples cleans the teeth. The antibacterial properties keep the dangerous bacteria and viruses away and reduce their ability to grow.
Apples have fibres that help minimise blood sugar. Pectin that is instrumental in controlling the radicals that are the prime cause of diabetes. The polyphenols contained in apples ward off damage to the beta cells in your pancreas. Beta cells are known to be damaged in people with Type-2 diabetes.
Cancer has been spreading like an epidemic currently. Apples are a potent anti-cancer agent and protect our bodies from the life-threatening disease. Scientists say that apples help to reduce the risks of pancreatic cancer and have shown improved treatment levels from cancers of the skin, breast and colon in studies. It can reduce the effects of lung cancer and can reduce its growth.
The apple skin contains triterpenoids which have proven potential of preventing the growth of cancer cells. Moreover, colon and rectal cancer can be restricted by the intake of fibres that are present in abundance in apples.
Reduces cholesterol –
This miracle fruit contains fibre in abundance. It helps in lowering cholesterol levels in your blood. We have mentioned earlier that apples contain polyphenols. The polyphenol – epicatechin prevents heart disease and lowers blood pressure, it acts as antioxidants and reduces the bad LDL cholesterol.
It has been researched and scientifically proven that fibre intake minimises the buildup of cholesterol in your blood vessels.
Antioxidants act against the free radicals that lead to wrinkles, dark spots and other ageing symbols. And, apples have these in abundance and prevent ageing. Apples also enhance blood flow within the veins and arteries.
Apples contain high quantities of collagen that can loosen and brighten your skin. It also has defence mechanisms that can protect you from the harmful ultra-violet rays of the sun. Apple pulp is used in the treatment of sunburns.
The contents in apples also lead to better-toned skin, making you look younger. No wonder apple pastes make their way into cosmetics that you use on your skin. It is also used in face masks and acts as a great hydrating agent. Working as a skin toner, it stimulates the circulation of blood. It balances the skin pH and minimises the cause that produces oils on the skin. This is turn reduces pimples and acne.
Gallstones can be prevented –
When the bile has too much cholesterol in it, it leads to gallstones. This is mainly the problem of obese people. They can also occur when your gallbladder cannot function properly. You need to have a diet with a high concentration of fibre. Nothing better than having apples. These wonder fruits contain pectin that prevents the level of harmful cholesterol in your body.
Apples are the best friends of your hair. Apples contain the chemical – biotin that is known to be a natural steroid for your hair. Dermatologists recommend biotin to minimise hair loss and strengthen your hair.
Procyanidin B-2, found in apples, is the stimulus for hair growth and thickens your hair. If you have apples in your daily diet, you will surprisingly find out that your hair loss is reduced.
Pectin also lowers the absorption of excess fats, thereby reducing your risks of being obese and aids in weight loss. The fibre also is excellent for digestion. Pectin forms a gel and slows digestion. Apples contain malic acid that also aids digestion.
Research confirms that apples also prevent Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. Drinking apple juice can reduce brain decay and prevent these diseases.
Apples can assist patients recuperating from asthma. The polyphenols and phytochemicals present in apples improve the functioning of our lungs and assists people recovering from breathing problems.
Benefits of having apples during pregnancy
Apples, being highly nutritious, are also helpful for expecting mothers. Being rich in iron, apples boost the haemoglobin levels in the blood and prevents anaemia. Apples also help in resisting expecting mothers against harmful diseases. It is rich in Vitamin C, which enhances body resistance. Moreover, the antioxidants fight against free radicals. Consuming apples during pregnancy reduce the risk of respiratory diseases in babies.
Are apples harmful also?
Okay, how you will get shocked. Apples do have some severe side effects.
The seeds of apples contain cyanide. You should be cautious that you do not consume them. It can prove to be fatal.
Gynaecologists prescribe expecting mothers not to take apple tea as the foetus may be harmed.
Some people may also be allergic to apples.
Apples are great for your body. It helps in the prevention of many life-threatening diseases. It also increases your immunity and improves your gut health. So, go enjoy your apple. You can eat it raw, drink it as a juice or use it through cosmetics. Else, you may end up visiting your physician more!