The line is so tired it’s almost embarrassing to repeat it here, but what choice is there, really? Here goes: An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
While this aphorism seems so trite as to appear almost meaningless, that’s not actually the case. In fact, apples have a great deal pulling for them. If you weren’t already convinced to add one of these naturally sweet and juicy treats to your daily menu, the following 10 health benefits should change your mind.
1. Cholesterol-Lowering Capacity
The pectin in apples, aside from making a really good natural jelly, also helps reduce cholesterol.
2. Antioxidant Ratio
Apples have among the highest numbers of antioxidants per serving as compared to other fruits and vegetables, making them an excellent choice for fighting free radicals and reducing the chances of getting cancer, asthma, diabetes, dementia, and other degenerative diseases.
3. Fiber Density
Apples are extremely high in fiber, which is great for digestion and keeps you nice and regular. It also helps reduce insulin levels by releasing sugar into the bloodstream slowly.
4. Skin-Clearing Capacity
The nutrients in apples help you fight acne and blemishes and keep your skin looking youthful and firm longer.
5. Low Calorie
Apples are very filling, especially considering they’re only one small piece of fruit. Because they’re packed with water and fiber, they keep you full on a very low-calorie count: between 50 and 80.
6. Yummy Skin
The skin is where a lot of the nutrients reside in many types of fruits and vegetables, such as cucumber, kiwi, carrots, and – believe it or not – oranges. Unlike citrus, however, you don’t have to choke apple skin down. Even if you’ve had a peeling habit up till now, stop: It’s quite delicious.
Want a brighter smile? Eating apples stimulate saliva production, which in turn reduces the number of bacteria in the mouth and whitens teeth.
9. Widespread Availability
Unlike some other delicious and good-for-you fruits (looking at you, blueberries and mangos), apples are available almost all year round, in almost all places in the world. If you can’t find any good ones at certain times of the year, go for the jarred stuff, which still contains a wealth of benefits.
10. Endless Variety
Some fruits and veggies have a variety or two available, but apples are endlessly variant. Granny Smiths, Red Delicious, Fuji, Pink Lady, Yellow Banana, Honeycrisp … the list goes on and on. You’ll have no trouble finding a few that work for you.
The best news of all is that, unlike other superfoods such as goji berries (which taste mildly of old jerky) or chard (which seems better suited to rabbits, taste-wise), apples are hands-down delicious, especially if you get a nice, juicy one. Start keeping your eyes peeled at the grocery store for different varieties, and find out what’s best in your area … and for your personal preference. Soon enough you’ll build a healthy snacking habit even Johnny Appleseed would envy.
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