by U.S. Apple Association
Falls Church, VA – Beyond everyday convenience and the wide range of varieties and apple products to choose from, apples also pack a nutritious punch, providing a daily dose of health benefits.
“National Nutrition Month, celebrated in March, is a good time to remind consumers that apples are a super food found in stores across the country,” said Korenna Wilson, Director of Consumer Health and Media Relations for USApple. “We continue to see studies that confirm the link between apple consumption and good health. This is a roundup of our favorites.”
The U.S. Apple Association offers 12 proven ways apples and apple products positively impact health, from head to toe, from the inside out, and through every stage of life:
- Lower LDL Cholesterol
Studies by the Arthritis Foundation found evidence to support claims that eating apples on a daily basis may lower levels of cholesterol as well as C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the blood. Female participants who ate apples every day for six months saw lower LDL cholesterol levels by 23 percent as well as a 32 percent decrease in CRP (Arthritis Foundation, 2016).
- Improve Digestive Health
University of Denmark researchers discovered apples and apple products could boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria. The friendly bacteria in the intestines feed on pectin, a fiber found abundantly in apples (BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:13).
- Replace Daily Statin Use
Some cardiologists argue that statins do more harm than good, especially for those who do not already have heart disease. Instead, people would benefit from eating an apple a day to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other vascular diseases (BMC Medicine, 2016 14:4).
- Support Respiratory Health
A National Institutes of Health study reports that foods rich in fiber and flavonoids, found abundantly in apples, may reduce chronic productive cough and other respiratory symptoms (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med, 2004, 170: 279-287).
- Promote Heart Health
An Ohio State University study found that eating an apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL, the bad cholesterol, by 40 percent. A University of Florida study found eating two apples a day reduced LDL by 23 percent (Journal of Functional Foods, 2013).
- Strengthen Bone Health
A study published in the November 2010 online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that older women who eat plenty of fruits, including apples and apple products, along with vegetables and whole grains, may have a lower chance of bone fractures than those not getting their fill.
- Deliver a Dose of Vitamin C
Apples are a great source of vitamin C, which helps repair body tissue and provides antioxidants. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a large apple contains about 10.3mg of vitamin C, nearly 10 percent of the daily recommended dose.
- Protect Brain Cells
Research from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell suggests eating apples and drinking apple juice can be beneficial when it comes to improving brain health and diminishing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. With a balanced diet, apple and apple juice consumption may protect against oxidative brain damage that can lead to memory loss.
- Strengthen Muscles
A natural compound found in the apple’s skin, called ursolic acid, may help prevent muscle wasting that can result from aging and illness (Cell Metabolism, 2011, 13 (6): 627-638).
- Reduce Asthma Symptoms
Research from the United Kingdom reports children of mothers who eat apples during pregnancy are much less likely to exhibit symptoms of asthma at age five. Apples were the only food found to have a positive association with a reduced risk of asthma among a variety of foods consumed and recorded (American Thoracic Society, 2007).
- Lowers Risk of Certain Types of Cancer, including Breast, Pancreatic, Colon or Liver, Prostate and Colorectal
Apples are rich in antioxidants, especially quercetin, which have been identified to help inhibit cancer onset and cell proliferation. In one study, the more apples per day a person ate, the less likely he/she was to develop colorectal cancer. The anti-cancer effect was seen even when a person had a low total consumption of fruits and vegetables, but consumed at least an apple a day (European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2010, 19(1):42-47).
- Help Maintain Optimal Weight
State University of Rio de Janeiro researchers studying the impact of fruit intake on weight loss found that overweight women who ate the equivalent of three apples a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t eat the fiber-rich fruit (Nutrition, 2003, 19: 253-256). Furthermore, researchers at Harvard University found a higher intake of foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins and flavonoids, all of which are found in apples, was associated with less weight gain among adults and may contribute to the prevention of obesity.
For more information on the health benefits of apples and apple products vist, USApple.org.