Health & Wellness, Nutrition

Why You Need an Apple a Day (5 Surprising Apple Benefits You May Not Know About)

You know the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But how true is that? Well, as it turns out, eating that daily apple benefits your health in many ways!

From supporting healthy weight management to immune health to lowering your risk of certain neurological diseases, apple benefits really are all-encompassing.

So, let’s learn a little more about all the ways apples support your health and wellbeing.

 

5 Surprising Apple Benefits for Your Health

Here are five of the top apple benefits for your health.

1. Supports healthy weight management

One of the most popular ways eating a daily apple benefits your health is by supporting healthy weight management.

According to one study on 49 overweight women ages 30 to 50, those who ate apples over a period of 10 weeks lost just over an average of 2 pounds. Moreover, they ate fewer calories each day than those who ate pears or cookies. [1]

Additionally, a 2009 study revealed that when people ate apple slices once a week for five weeks, they consumed an average of 15 percent less calories during lunch than those who didn’t eat apple slices. [2]

Interestingly, eating apple slices were found to be more filling and satisfying than drinking apple juice or eating applesauce. As a result, the researchers stated that eating solid fruit provides greater satiety than consuming pureed fruit or juice and can help reduce calorie intake.

2. May reduce asthma risk

Another great way eating an apple benefits your health is by helping to reduce your risk of developing asthma.

In fact, in one study on 68,535 adult women revealed that eating at least 15 percent of a large apple each day reduced the risk of asthma by 10 percent. [3]

Likewise, additional studies have shown that greater consumption of apples is associated with less wheezing and asthma symptoms in children and young adults. As a result, the researchers stated that eating whole foods such as apples may be beneficial in preventing or improving asthma. [4, 5]

3. Supports immune system health

This is one of the apple benefits that will be most familiar to you based on the adage I mentioned above about keeping the doctor away. But what makes this old saying true?

Well, as it turns out, an animal study has found that it’s actually the fiber in apples that provide the major health benefits to your immune system.

According to the study, the soluble fiber found in apples has been shown to reduce inflammation and, as a result, strengthen the immune system. The mechanism? Soluble fiber increases the production of an anti-inflammatory protein known as interleukin-4. [6]

So, the next time you want to support your immune system health, consider eating an apple each day. It’ll help to cool the inflammation in your body that may be keeping your immune system from functioning optimally.

4. Contains anti-diabetic properties

When it comes to apple benefits, its ability to fight diabetes is an important one to keep in mind.

According to a 2017 meta-analysis of more than 228,000 participants, consuming apples reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by an incredible 18 percent. [7] Moreover, the analysis revealed that eating just one serving per week reduced the risk of type 2 diabetes by 3 percent.

Additional studies have also confirmed that consuming whole fruits such as apples significantly reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. [8]

Interestingly, the study also revealed that consuming fruit juice increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, showing that eating the whole fruit is most beneficial.

5. May lower risk of Parkinson’s disease

Finally, apple benefits extend to lowering your risk of major neurodegenerative disorders as well. In fact, certain studies have found that eating apples regularly can help to lower the risk of Parkinson’s disease.

For years, research has shown that damage to the mitochondria (the small parts in your cells responsible for producing the energy you need to sustain life) in brain cells is largely responsible for the development of Parkinson’s.

Basically, when the mitochondria become damaged, it causes your brain cells to die prematurely. But there’s good news!

Research has also shown that consuming flavonoids regularly can help protect your cells from mitochondrial damage. [9] And one of the foods richest in flavonoids is the mighty apple!

In fact, in a study of more than 50,000 men, researchers found that, thanks to the positive effects of flavonoids on brain cells, eating apples decreased the risk of developing Parkinson’s.

According to the study’s findings, compared to those who ate less than one apple per month, men who ate five or more servings of apples each week had a substantially decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease.

So, how substantial was the decrease in risk? Those who ate the most flavonoid-rich foods were 40 percent less likely to develop Parkinson’s than those who ate the least amount of flavonoids! [10]

That’s one of the apple benefits I think we can all get behind!

Apple benefits - Dr. Pingel

 

Key Takeaways

  • Eating apples regularly benefits your health in many ways.
  • Some of the top surprising apple benefits include: supporting healthy weight management, reducing asthma risk, supporting immune system health, fighting type 2 diabetes, and possibly lowering the risk of Parkinson’s disease.
  • To get the greatest benefits, most research recommends eating at least five apples a week, though one every day is the gold standard.

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