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Health Benefits of Apples

The apple is a healthful food that is low in calories and high on health benefits.  These small red fruits contain compounds that have disease prevention and treatment properties, making them an affordable and safer alternative to some of the preventive drug therapies available.  Learn how an apple a day really keeps the doctor away and start taking advantage of this delicious food. 

Beneficial Compounds 

Apples contain several chemical compounds that deliver health benefits.  Phloridzin is a flavanoid that was identified by French researchers.  This compound is only found in apples and can help improve bone density and prevent bone loss after menopause.  Apples also contain boron, which is known to strengthen bones, enhancing the effects of phloridzin.  Quercetin is a compound that has the potential to protect brain cells from damage caused by free radicals.  Apples also contain pectin, which is helpful for reducing low-density lipoprotein ("bad" cholesterol).

Health Benefits

Apples are useful for preventing and improving results for people who have Alzheimer's disease, lung cancer, high levels of LDL, asthma, colon cancer, diabetes and liver cancer.  Researchers believe that apples can help reduce the risk of lung cancer because of the naringin and quercetin present in the fruit.  Cornell University conducted a study on rats that determined the risk of breast cancer was reduced by 17 percent if the rats ate one apple per day; 39 percent if the rats ate 3 apples per day; and 44 percent if the rats ate 6 apples per day.  Pectin helps to maintain a health digestive tract, which could explain its role in preventing colon cancer.  It also provides galacturonic acid, which reduces the body's need for insulin and can help diabetics control their disease.

Weight Loss 

In addition to all of the other health benefits of apples, this fruit also seems to help promote weight loss.  Apples have low levels of fat and calories and contain several vitamins and minerals.  The amount of fiber in one apple can help to fill the stomach without having to eat too many calories.  The fiber also makes it more difficult to digest an apple, which burns more calories.  Apples also have a high amount of water in them, which increases fluid intake and helps to reduce food cravings. 

Warnings

There are very few risks to adding apples to your diet, provided you do not have a known apple allergy.  People with digestive disorders, such as Crohn's disease and diverticulitis, may also have to limit their intake of apples because digesting apple skins can be difficult and cause a flareup of symptoms.