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Apples

This article is part of a larger article titled "100+ Healthiest Foods On Planet Earth."  Read it here.

Apples Nutritional Information (per 100g)

Water: 85.6 g
Calories: 52 kcal
Protein: 0.3 g
Carbohydrate: 13.8 g
Dietary fiber: 2.4 g
Sugars: 10.4 g
Fat: 0.2 g
Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1 g
Vitamin C: 4.6 mg
Vitamin B3: 0.1 mg
Vitamin B9: 3 μg
Vitamin A: 3 μg
Vitamin E: 0.2 mg
Vitamin K: 2.2 μg
Calcium: 6 mg
Iron: 0.1 mg
Magnesium: 5 mg
Phosphorus: 11 mg
Potassium: 107 mg
Sodium: 1 mg

A staple part of many a fruit bowl, you’ve undoubtedly heard the adage of “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” But did you know that there is now scientific evidence that supports this theory?

From helping to lower the risk of asthma to preventing neurological diseases like Alzheimer’s, it seems that the reliable apple is one superfood that keeps being overlooked.

Lower the risk of asthma. A study conducted in 2007, by Willers et al, showed that mothers who ate apples in pregnancy greatly reduced the risk of their children developing asthma in later life, by as much as 53%.

It is thought that the antioxidant flavonoid known as quercetin is a major contributing factor to this outcome. It is also understood that these results can be observed in adults who regularly eat apples as well.

Help lower cholesterol. It would seem that eating apples on a regular basis can help to lower overall cholesterol, particularly in postmenopausal women, according to a study by Dr. Arjmandi et al, published in 2012.

The women ate the equivalent of 2 apples a day for 12 months, with their blood being taken at 3 monthly intervals. It was found that their bad cholesterol had been reduced by as much as 24% within the first 6 months.

Help prevent diseases like Alzheimer’s. Oxidative stress – which is an imbalance that can occur in one’s body, preventing it from counteracting the harmful effects of free radicals – damages neurological cells and thus causes diseases like Alzheimer’s.

A study, published in 2008, found that eating apples, oranges and bananas on a regular basis helped to protect the neuron cells from oxidative stress thanks to the antioxidants and phytochemicals they contain.

Reduce the risk of stroke. A 28-year long study of more than 9,000 Finnish men and women has shown that eating apples is associated with a significantly decreased risk of experiencing a thrombotic stroke – which is the kind of stroke affecting the brain.

Initially, the researchers thought that quercetin was responsible for decreasing the risk, but their study found no such link. Instead, apple consumption seemed to be the most prominent factor. It is not entirely known why this is, but the results clearly speak for themselves.

Reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. A team of researchers sifted through piles of research relating to studies of more than 180,000 people regarding the effects that eating certain fruits had on participants with type 2 diabetes.

They published the study in 2013 and it clearly showed that regular consumption of most fruits, but particularly apples, blueberries and grapes, helped to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes by as much as 7%.

Prevent breast cancer. Rui Hai Liu has conducted a number of studies relating to how cancer cells form and finding ways to prevent this. Two of her studies have concentrated on how apple extracts affect breast cancer cells in human cells (1) and the mammary glands of rats (2).

What she has found strongly suggests that certain phytochemicals found in apples significantly affect the ability of cancer cells to form and reproduce.