Health Benefits of Apples and Nutrition Facts

The health benefits of apples are endless. There has been a great deal of research into the health effects of apples  polyphenols on the body, and the indications are that they could act as antioxidants and also benefit the cardiovascular system. If you are looking for a way to access these benefits of polyphenols, you might want to think about increasing your intake of apples. Apples contain a significant number of polyphenols that each has a different purpose, affecting their coloring and also providing the nutrients found in this particular kind of fruit.

Health Benefits of Apples and Nutrition Facts
Apple nutrition facts. Servings: 1 cup, chopped, about 125 grams. In terms of vitamins and minerals, you won’t get as much benefits as compared to other fruits and the highest nutrient content being Vitamin C (10%). Source: USDA.gov

Polyphenols

Polyphenols serve an essential purpose, as they enable apples to protect themselves from harmful UV radiation. It is the polyphenols that are found in the skin of an apple which largely absorb the harmful rays of the sun, thus preventing damage being done to the apple. Clearly, since apples grow on trees and sunlight is required for their growth, it is necessary for their survival that there is some kind of chemical that will keep them safe from environmental factors that could be bad for them. Polyphenols do this by acting as a natural sunblock.

Pick the right color

Polyphenols also play a role in turning apples brown when they are damaged. If an apple is damaged, the polyphenol oxidases present in the apple, oxidize the polyphenols, thus leaving the apple with brown patches. It is therefore important to be careful when handling apples, so that you keep the polyphenols intact. Otherwise, you won’t be able to get the full health benefits available from eating apples. Plus, if you have a whole pile of apples, you have to be extra careful, since if you damage one apple it releases ethylene gas, which can damage the other apples.

Antioxidants Health Benefits of Apples

Clearly, then, you have to look after your apples so that you don’t damage them in any way, as if you do the health benefits provided by the polyphenols will not be as evident. One of the most important health benefits you will get from eating apples, largely due to the polyphenols found in them, is the protection of your healthy cells from free radicals that could undermine your health and well-being. This is because of the antioxidant properties associated with apples.

Health Benefits of Apples For your heart

By eating more apples, you will be at less risk of developing clogged arteries and suffering a heart attack as a consequence (source: University of California). The antioxidants found in apples could also reduce your risk of asthma and keep your lungs healthier, thus reducing the risk of lung cancer. Even though you only get a relatively small quantity of Vitamin C from eating apples, you also get flavonoids that can help your body to absorb Vitamin C. It is obviously important for your body to be able to absorb Vitamin C if you are going to have a strong immune system that will stop you falling ill on a regular basis.

Health Benefits of Apples – Lower your cholesterol

Eating apples can be an effective way to improve your heart’s health. Obviously, you can’t live on a diet of only apples, but apples do provide you with fiber and a combination of different polyphenols that can help to keep you healthy. By incorporating more apples into your diet, you should be able to control your cholesterol more effectively. A research done in 1999 by the Department of Food Science and Technology at University of California found that regular consumption of apple juice results in lower level of oxidized LDL cholesterol (a.k.a bad cholesterol). It basically means that by drinking an apple juice, you can lower the risk of developing clogged arteries. If you suffer from high cholesterol, it is definitely worth eating more apples or drinking more apple juice, as choosing to do so could lower your cholesterol levels and, thus, reduce your chances of suffering from heart problems.

Link between apples and cancer

Dr. Rui Hai Liu, a researcher from Cornell University have found an interesting link between apples and breast cancer. Studies done on rats found that the higher the amount of apples consumed per day, the lower were the risk of getting breast cancer. What was more interesting was that, the treated rats had smaller numbers of tumors, which were less malignant and had a slower growth rate. Another research done by Professor Chang Long Lee, from Cornell University, found that colon cancer and human liver cancer showed significant reduction when the cancer cells were treated with apple extract with results showing a 43% reduction in colon cancer cells and 57% reduction in human liver cancer cells. All of these research points to one thing, that is, apple plays an important role in helping you to reduce the risk of getting cancer and the more you eat, the less are the chances of getting cancer.

A wealth of benefits

Apples contain a number of nutrients that could benefit your health and since apples are quite tasty, anyway, it shouldn’t be too difficult to make room in your diet for them! As well as keeping your cholesterol levels down, your heart healthy and your lungs in good working order, the antioxidant properties found in this fruit can also reduce your chance of developing cancer, including cancer of the breast, liver, colon and lung. The polyphenols that are present in apples clearly have a role to play in providing you with these health benefits.

Take good care of your apples

However, it is important to be aware that if you damage an apple and it starts to turn brown, the health benefits associated with apples will be reduced. Therefore, to get the full health benefits of eating apples, you have to ensure that they are fresh and undamaged before eating them.

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