Can apples help my health?

Many people have heard the old saying “an apple a day…keeps the doctor away”. Turns out, apples may just help do that! And this is the best time of year to eat the delicious and crunchy fruit. I actually have a trip planned next month out east and one of the stops on the fall color tour is a huge apple orchard. Apples are not only a tasty autumn snack, they are filled with disease fighting chemicals and are great for our overall health.

Soluble fiber is an important part of our diet, and it just so happens that apples contain 4 grams of soluble fiber per serving (one medium apple)! Foods high in soluble fiber help lower our “bad” (LDL) cholesterol levels, which can help reduce risk of heart disease. Apples are also high in flavonoids, which are phytochemicals that can help reduce inflammation in the body. A large study showed that women that consumed the highest amount of foods high in flavonoids had significantly reduced instances of heart disease and stroke. And the fiber in apples may help to keep us fuller longer, which can help reduce the risk of overeating and obesity. They are also generally low in calories (approximately 95 per one medium apple) so they make a great and healthy snack.

Fruits and vegetables are an extremely important part of our diet. People that consume more produce are generally at healthy weights, have lower instances of cancer, heart disease, and strokes. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics suggests that we consume approximately 2 servings of fruit a day. One medium apple equals one cup of fruit, which is half of the recommended daily amount! In addition to providing important nutrients into our diet, apples may help improve our athletic endurance! A few studies found that a chemical in apples (quercetin) may help make oxygen more available in our lungs, allowing us to exercise harder and longer.

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