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The apple is a member of the Rose family, having originated in Eastern Europe and Southwestern Asia, and now comprising over 7,000 different varieties. The apple has been featured in the bible, and Norse mythology and is even said to have inspired Sir Isaac Newton. What are the benefits of this inspirational celebrity fruit that has become synonymous with the word health? Let’s take a look.
Apples are a good source of dietary fiber. The soluble fiber found in apples combines with phytonutrients in the apple (especially concentrated in the skin) to significantly benefit digestion and the body’s regulation of blood fat levels. These phytonutrients also help regulate skin regrowth, regulate blood sugar levels, and play an active role in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Apples also contain a large number of polyphenols. These polyphenols have a strong antioxidant effect decreasing the oxidation of cell membrane fats. This benefits the cardiovascular system by reducing the risk factor of clogging the arteries. The strong antioxidant benefits in apples have also been linked to lowering the risk of asthma and lung cancer.
Consuming a medium-sized apple also contributes approximately 8.4 milligrams of Vitamin C. Although this figure is not astounding, apples also contain a large number of flavonoids that aid the body in recycling Vitamin C, so the overall effect on our Vitamin C levels is far greater than meets the eye.
To get the most out of your apples consume them whole. Many of the phytonutrients are particularly concentrated in the skin and combine wonderfully with the carbs and fiber found in the flesh. Whenever possible try to include as much of the apple as possible in cooking or when eating it as a snack.
A word of warning! Non-organic apples are among the top 12 fruit & vegetables found to have residual pesticides and although these pesticides are only found in trace amounts, their effects on the liver, energy production, and nervous system are far from desirable.