We all know the saying about a certain fruit a day keeping the doctor away. But what exactly are the ways in which apples can give us a health boost? Here are five benefits as noted by experts and study findings:
1. Better oral health
Alkaline foods can help promote acidic balance, and apples just happen to be a great alkaline fruit. Eating apples can increase the production of saliva in the mouth, eliminating bacteria and food particles. This can help in reducing the risk of bad breath.
Given their healthy fiber content, apples also promote better oral health by removing plaque and acting as "a natural exfoliate to take stains off the teeth," according to Dr. Jonathan Levine, a practicing dentist based in New York City.
2. Boost for the brain
Apples are said to be an excellent source of the more antioxidant compound quercetin. One medium-sized fruit is estimated to contain up to 10 milligrams of quercetin. According to research from Cornell University, it is believed to have a protective effect on our brain cells.
Another study from 2015 suggested a link between apple juice and a lowered risk of Alzheimer's disease. However, it may be more beneficial to consume the whole fruit with the skin intact since that is where most of the quercetin comes from.
3. Healthier weight
Apples could help fight against obesity, said Washington State University scientists who conducted a study in 2015. As per the findings, Granny Smith apples were specifically recommended for this. "We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties," said food scientist Giuliana Noratto who led the study.
The fruit, thanks to its high fiber content, can help in promoting good gut bacteria. This can help in the prevention of metabolic disorders associated with obesity and chronic inflammation which can lead to diabetes.
4. Good for the heart
Researchers from the Florida State University said they were "pleasantly surprised" after conducting a study which found that apples could reduce a number of heart disease risk factors.
Since these fruits rank high in terms of soluble fiber content, they can help in maintaining lower cholesterol levels. In addition, they contain healthy flavonoids which can help in lowering blood pressure as well as the risk of stroke.
5. Higher bone density
Apples are among the fruits that can have a beneficial effect on bone density and bone strength. This can help protect against conditions like osteoporosis, characterized by deterioration of the bone and an increased risk of fractures.
In one study which compared people who consumed apples as a part of their diet to people who did not, the former was found to lose lesser calcium from their bodies compared to the latter.