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What Does An Apple A Day Do For Your Body? Nutrients in Apples Have Synergistic Properties

Updated on July 31, 2012

The old saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away" may be more than a widely circulated, unsupported notion after all. Apples nutrition includes powerful antioxidants(especially in the peel) that work synergistically together when they are eaten in their fresh, whole state. The antioxidant power of these combined nutrients is equal to approximately 1500 milligrams of vitamin C even though they contain almost no vitamin C.

Apples contain soluble and insoluble fiber which is powerful protection against high cholesterol and a powerful bad cholesterol reducer. The insoluble fiber has the ability to attach itself to LDL cholesterol in the digestive tract and remove it from the body. The soluble fiber known as pectin combines with phenols to reduce the amount of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides levels. In addition to the heart protection offered by fiber, the antioxidant quercetin combines with other nutrients to increase immune defenses, offering additional protection against free radical damage caused by LDL cholesterol, as well as defence against cancer and other diseases.

Apples are abundant in flavonoids which soak up free radicals that lead to disease. New research has found that flavonoids also have the ability to inhibit cell damage which leads to atherosclerosis. Many studies have found that eating fresh, whole apples have reduces the risk of heart disease, cancer, type 2 diabetes and asthma. Other benefits found were increased weight loss and improved lung function. Pectin has the ability to bind to heavy metals such as lead and mercury and safely carry them out of the body.

Specific studies have been conducted with liver, colon and breast cancer. Apple consumption was found to inhibit the growth of liver and colon cancer cells and shrink breast cancer tumors during a 6 month test period. Unfortunately, these benefits found in eating fresh whole apples were not found in drinking apple juice, eating apple sauce or taking fiber supplements.

Apples promote bowel regularity and relieve constipation. The insoluble fiber acts as roughage, while the soluble fiber acts as a stool softener by drawing in water but also treats diarrhea because of pectins ability to firm up loose stool. The sweetness of the apple comes from fructose, which breaks down slowly especially when combined with the apple fiber which helps keep blood sugar levels stable.

Kidney stone research has found that drinking one half to one liter of apple juice per day greatly decrease the risk of developing calcium oxalate stones. Phenols found in apple skin are believed to provide protection against UV-B sun rays. Of the different varieties of apples tested, Braeburns were found to provide the most protection. One flavonoid found in apples was found to prevent bone loss due to menopause.

How to choose and store apples

Apples should be rich in color and firm. Unfortunately, apples are among the 12 foods in which pesticides have most frequently been found. In order to avoid pesticide contamination choose organic apples. If you do want to purchase non organic apples find out from your grocer what kind of wax is used to protect the apple. Beeswax, shellac and carnauba wax are the safest. Petroleum -based waxes contain wood resins and solvent residues.

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    • profile image

      Melissa 5 years ago

      I was wondering; turns out I was right! I eat 1-2 apples a day but ran out of apples last week and stopped having a nice morning bowel movement. Got apples again, and voila! Will check my cholesterol next time I give blood to see if it went down too, since it tends to run high, but last time I gave blood I wasn't eating apples as regularly as I do now.

    • profile image

      Osunkalu olanrewaju inpustune 5 years ago

      Due to this information, apple is recommended to every body to make the body a good healthy system. i like taking apple cause it's good. try it and feel the deference. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Abigail 5 years ago

      This information is very useful. I normally take an apple before bed. I guess its ok.

    • profile image

      Malcolm 5 years ago

      Lots of beneficial info apples rock!!!

    • profile image

      Ramachandra Benakal 6 years ago

      Dear SIr please let me know what is the ideal time to have a apple?i mean is it better if we have early morning?or before lunch etc etc.thanks.

    • profile image

      Amanda 8 years ago

      Does all the vitamines dissapear when you put the apple in the oven? I know it's a stupid question but I want to find a way to eat appels since I'm allergic. Thanx!

    • stevemark122000 profile image
      Author

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment Nusaybah!

      Apples are loaded with enzymes so they are very healthy for the whole body. Unsweetened cranberry juice as well as raspberries and blackberries contain flavonoids believed to prevent bacteria from attaching to the gums.

    • profile image

      Nusaybah 8 years ago

      I once heard apples help to keep the gums healthy. I am suffering from gingivitis so I would like to know if eating apples will help fight the gum disease?

    • profile image

      larrayca 8 years ago

      appple aso helps to fight with ageing and keep your skin natural and young , because of its anti-oxidants its supply all its sources to the nerve especially where the nerver are sensitive and get damage quickly.

    • Juliet Christie profile image

      Juliet Christie Murray 8 years ago from Sandy Bay Jamaica

      If all that you say apples do they really do no wander apple cider vinegar is so widely promoted. As a nutritionist I appreciate this information

    • jtoneypub profile image

      jtoneypub 8 years ago from USA

      And to think that apparently prophetic phrase was devised by the apple growers to combat the attack on their industry by hatched weilding Puritan women who saw the apple as evil because apples were primarily used at the time to make liquor, not for snacking.  Turns out the apple growers really were right.

      We had about 13 apple trees in our orchard where I grew up, so we always ate them... still do.

    • ambersmith profile image

      ambersmith 8 years ago

      Thanks for sharing this info :)

    • Fyxz Van Light profile image

      Fyxz Van Light 8 years ago from Brunei Darussalam - Kingdom of Unexpected Treasures

      Well, at my place, we have to import apples, so we eat bananas or durians. Depending on the season

    • jmichaels59 profile image

      jmichaels59 8 years ago from Hinesville/Savannah, Ga

      excellant info! I like many, LOVE apples, they are not just good for you, they are just darn good eating!

      An apple a day!

    • emartinez8 profile image

      emartinez8 8 years ago from Internet

      I never considered organic apples. I always thought "an apple is an apple". Great hub!

    • Great Caruso profile image

      Great Caruso 8 years ago from USA

      Great hub...Good to know!!!

    • Dottie1 profile image

      Dottie1 8 years ago from MA, USA

      I have trouble keeping my triglyceride levels down. After reading this hub I'll go right on eating those apples, but now more often. Thanks.

    • Shaun Lindbergh profile image

      Shaun Lindbergh 8 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Great hub. Now I know why I eat 3 to 4 apples a day. My son's parrot insists on her share every time too and she's never been to the vet!

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 8 years ago from Houston, Texas

      As a child growing up in Wisconsin, I remember climbing trees and picking the apples. Great memory! My tree climbing days are long past, but not forgotten!

    • Nolimits Nana profile image

      Nicolette Goff 8 years ago from British Columbia

      Great information - thanks. Apples are one of my favourites, and we're lucky enough to have a couple of trees - no pesticides or sprays used.

    • RGraf profile image

      Rebecca Graf 8 years ago from Wisconsin

      It is so amazing how all those old "sayings" that have been dismissed over the years are proving true after all. Go, Apples!!!!

    • Lgali profile image

      Lgali 8 years ago

      I like apples my vote yes

    • jim10 profile image

      jim10 8 years ago from ma

      Great hub about apples. I once read that the original saying was actually

      "An apple before bed

      Keeps the doctor out of bread"

      I believe it is supposed to help digestion and clean everything out at night time. But anytime is really good for apples. I regularly add a tspn of apple cider vinegar to my OJ. IT is supposed to be great for cleaning the arteries. Does it still count when I make caramel apples with walnuts? Those are really good too.

    • stevemark122000 profile image
      Author

      stevemark122000 8 years ago from Southern California

      Thanks for your comment hibisbus! All apples have great benefits so keep eating those golden apples :)

    • hibiscus_mel profile image

      hibiscus_mel 8 years ago from Marlton, New Jersey

      Does the color choices of apples matter? Like which color of apple is best?

      I love golden apples.;-)

    • Netters profile image

      Netters 8 years ago from Land of Enchantment - NM

      MmmmLove apples! Thank you for the information.

    • countrywomen profile image

      countrywomen 8 years ago from Washington, USA

      Steve- I always learn so much about health issues from your hub. Good work and keep them coming.

    • justmesuzanne profile image

      justmesuzanne 8 years ago from Texas

      Excellent! Thanks! :)

    • goldentoad profile image

      goldentoad 8 years ago from Free and running....

      I've been pigging out on apple pie lately, and I can't help myself. Apples are in abundance in my household and an easy snack for the kids.

    • quicksand profile image

      quicksand 8 years ago

      In our parts the grocer knows absolutely nothing.

      Do you think that dipping an apple in hot water for a minute or two will discard the pesticde and the wax?

      Thanks for another valuable hub.

    • JEB profile image

      JEB 8 years ago from Mission, TX

      I knew there was a reason that I liked appled. Good information.

      jeb