It's apple picking season, and there are numerous reasons why you should fill up a basket with these delicious fruits. Not only are they a tasty addition to any dish, but they also bring a range of health benefits. From improving intestinal health to reducing the risk of various diseases, apples are a nutritional powerhouse. In this article, we will explore the various reasons why you should consider including apples in your diet.
1. Lowering Cholesterol and Blood Pressure
Enjoying a juicy apple can contribute to maintaining a healthy heart. Studies have shown a connection between apple consumption and a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. The soluble fiber found in apples plays a significant role in reducing cholesterol levels.
Soluble fibers dissolve in water and form a gel-like substance. This helps prevent cholesterol accumulation in blood vessel walls, reducing the incidence of atherosclerosis and heart disease. Additionally, soluble fibers can also help lower blood pressure. Research has indicated that a higher intake of soluble fibers is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Regular consumption of apples or pears can reduce the risk of stroke by 52%. A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that eating two apples a day helped participants lower their levels of LDL (low-density lipoprotein or “bad” cholesterol) and triglycerides.
2. Aid Digestion with Fiber-Rich Apples
Fiber is known for its positive impact on digestion, and apples are a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fibers slow down digestion, providing a feeling of fullness and helping regulate blood sugar levels. On the other hand, insoluble fibers promote regular bowel movements and prevent constipation.
Including the skin of the apple in your diet is important, as it contains a significant amount of insoluble fiber. Adding apples to your meals can help keep your digestive system healthy and functioning properly.
3. Boosting the Immune System
Having a strong immune system is crucial, especially during the fall season. Apples can be a valuable addition to your immune support kit. A diet rich in soluble fiber has been found to convert pro-inflammatory immune cells into anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting cells.
Vitamin C, which is found in apples, plays a vital role in immune system functioning. It strengthens the epithelial barrier against pathogens and protects against environmental oxidative stress. Including apples in your daily diet can help support a healthy immune system.
4. Controlling and Preventing Diabetes
Contrary to popular belief, fruits like apples can be included in the diet of individuals with type 2 diabetes. The soluble fiber in apples helps slow down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream, improving blood sugar levels.
A diet rich in insoluble fiber, such as that found in apples, has been shown to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Additionally, a study published in Experimental and Therapeutic Medicine demonstrated that regular consumption of soluble fibers can help reduce insulin resistance and improve insulin sensitivity in individuals with type 2 diabetes.
In conclusion, apples are not only delicious but also provide numerous health benefits. From promoting heart health and aiding digestion to boosting the immune system and helping control diabetes, apples are a valuable addition to any diet. So, why not grab a basket and enjoy the many benefits of this remarkable fruit?