Nutritional Benefits Of Apples

Ever wonder about the nutritional benefits of apples?

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" This old adage may be truer than you think. Recent studies have suggested that the consumption of apples can help control weight gain, lower the risk of heart disease and fight cancer. Though most people think the flesh of the apple is the most delicious part, the skin is definitely the most nutritious.

The apple skin contains 4 milligrams of quercetin, an anti-oxident compound preventing oxygen molecules from damaging individual cells. This can prevent cell changes that can lead to cancer. A Finnish study concluded that men who had the highest intake of quercetin lowered their risk of heart disease by 20%. This compound has also been shown to inhibit the growth of tumors and keep cancer cells from spreading.

The insoluble fiber found in apples is responsible for a host of other benefits. The apple skin is considered roughage and is a great remedy for constipation. Insoluble fiber also helps the digestive tract run smoothly, helping to prevent diverticulosis, a condition which can lead to colon cancer. Another benefit of insoluble fiber is its "filling" effect, this being an effective appetite supressant.

Apples also contain soluble fiber, which has the opposite affect of insoluble fiber, forming a gel-like material in the digestive tract that can help lower cholesterol, as well as, the risk of stroke and heart disease. One of the soluble fibers found in apples is called pectin. Pectin reduces the amount of cholesterol produced in the liver, slows digestion and and the rise of blood sugar making it ideal for diabetes patients.

To get the maximum amount of benefit from your apple, be sure to choose a variety that browns easily, like Granny Smith. Finally, don't substitute apple juice for an apples. Though it contains some iron and potassium, apple juice contains little of the beneficial compounds quertecin and fiber

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