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Apples are a Healthy Choice

Everyone’s heard about an apple a day. It is one of the most popular fruits in the world that is fiber-rich, crispy and juicy. And that’s a good thing for health. A diet rich in apples has been associated with a host of health benefits, including weight loss, improved lung function, lower risk of stroke, cancer and heart disease.

The high water and fiber content of apple mean that you’ll feel full for longer, despite few calories in each one. But apples give you an extra, fat-blasting advantage. A compound in the peel called ursolic acid has been shown to help increase brown fat in mice and, in a separate study, was found to increase calorie burn and reduce obesity risk in mice.

Eat apples with skin to get the nutrients; many of the nutrients are in the skin or just under the skin (most of the vitamin C and vitamin A are in the skin).

Facts
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Basic Nutrition

One apple of about 180 grams is 95 calories, contains 0.5 g of protein and 25.1 g of total carbohydrates. Based on a 2000 calorie diet, that represents 1 percent of the recommended daily value (DV) of protein and 8 percent DV of carbohydrates.

Apples only have 0.3 g of fat, which is so small it provides less than 1 percent DV. Apples are a great source of dietary fiber. The total fiber of 4.4 g (17 percent DV) includes soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber helps prevent the buildup of cholesterol and the insoluble fiber provides bulk that moves food through the intestines.

Vitamins

Apples are a rich source of Vitamin C. Containing 8.4 mg, just one apple provides 14 percent DV. You’ll also obtain between 1 to 4 percent DV of thiamin (0.031 mg), riboflavin (0.047 mg), niacin (0.2 mg), pantothenic acid (0.1 mg), Vitamin B6 (0.1 mg) and folate (5.5 micrograms). They also provide three of the fat-soluble vitamins; Vitamin A (98.3 IU or 2 percent DV), Vitamin E (0.3 mg or 2 percent DV) and Vitamin K (4.0 micrograms or 5 percent DV).

Minerals

Apples supply 195 mg, or 6 percent DV, of potassium. They also provide 1 to 3 percent DV of calcium (10.9 mg), iron (0.2 mg), magnesium (9.1 mg), phosphorus (20 mg), copper (0.049 mg) and manganese (0.1 mg). Apples are perfect if you’re watching salt intake because they only have 1.8 mg of sodium, which is a trace amount.

Flavonoids

Flavonoids are compounds that work as powerful antioxidants. information provided by the Linus Pauling Institute (LPI) states that apples are one of the main sources of dietary flavonoids, providing about 22 percent of consumed flanovoids per person. Increasing consumption of apples is associated with a “decreased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and incidence of thrombotic stroke.”

Phytosterols

One apple has 21.8 mg of phytosterols. Phytosterols are substances that are similar to cholesterol but they actually inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract, resulting in lower LDL (“bad” cholesterol) levels.

Cancer Fighting Properties

Apple skin helps protect against cancer more than the rest of the apple. The entire apple provides you with valuable antioxidants to protect your cells against damage from free radicals. Only the skin contains compounds known as triterpenoids that have the ability to prevent cell proliferation, protecting you from many forms of cancer, according to a study published in the May 2007 issue of the “Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.”

Dietary Fiber

Apples provide the body with a good source of dietary fiber. One apple can provide about one-fifth of the daily recommended intake for fiber. Fiber is an indigestible polysaccharide which has several important roles in the body. According to MayoClinic.com, fiber normalizes bowel movements, maintains bowel integrity and health, lowers blood cholesterol levels, controls blood sugar and aids in weight loss.

Fiber helps the body to feel full for a longer period of time which can help those trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy body weight.

  • Apples are filled with soluble fiber (5 grams). This fiber has been shown to reduce intestinal disorders, including diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and possibly some types of cancer. It helps control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream.
  • It cleanses and detoxifies, which helps eliminate heavy metals, such as lead and mercury.
  • Apple pectin helps reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin secretion.
  • In two studies researchers found that eating five apples a week lowered the risk for respiratory diseases like asthma.
  • According to Chinese Medicine: Apples strengthen the heart, quench thirst, lubricate the lungs, decrease mucous and increase body fluids.
  • Apple cider vinegar can help prevent the formation of kidney stones.
  • Studies indicate that eating apples daily can reduce skin diseases.
  • According to a Brazilian study, eating an apple before a meal helped women lose 33 percent more weight than those who didn’t.
  • An apple has only 50-80 calories and has no fat or sodium.
  • Apples are packed with vitamins C, A, and flavonoids and with smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron and calcium.
  • Apples provide a source of potassium which may promote heart health.