“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” — a proverb, dating from the 19th century, which turns out to be true! (Note: Make sure you buy and eat organic apples because conventionally grown apples are now full of pesticides, which isn’t exactly good for your body.)
The benefits of apples on the human body are beyond all belief: they improve the memory, lower the risk of heart attacks, and may even be life-extending.
Nutritional Value Of Apples
The nutritional facts seem a bit poor at first glance: no fats, no proteins, a few carbohydrates—not a lot of substance. Nevertheless, apples contain a fairly high amount of Vitamins; Vitamin C in particular. So what’s the secret?
Phytochemicals are the key benefits within them: they’re organic compounds found in plants that have biological effects, but no nutritional value. Phytochemicals have’t yet been investigated in depth, but they they are known to be used for their general metabolic and anti-inflammatory properties.
#1 Benefit: Live Longer
According to a study by the American Chemical Society in 2011, researchers were able to observe life-extending effects of apple-eating test animals by 10 %. There is also evidence, that the chemical compound responsible preserves the motor abilities of test animals.
Although the research is currently being conducted on test animals, there are no objections in applying the general findings on human beings, as in all clinical studies.
#2 Benefit: Memory-Improving
According to a study by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the consumption of apples increases the production and amount of the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a hormone with various tasks, one of them being the modulation of neuro-plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and build new structures.
Higher amounts of acetylcholine in the brain result in improved memory, and as a matter of fact, the treatment of choice for Alzheimer’s disease is to medicate with the objective of increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain to help slow down the mental decline of patients.
“The findings at present study show that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods such as apples and apple juice can help reduce problems associated with memory loss.”, concludes the UML research group.
#3 Benefit: Lower risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes
Heart attacks, strokes and arteriosclerosis all have a couple of things in common: a) they’re bad, really bad, b) they develop often due to an excess of LDL-cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”).
Guess what? Apples were able to decrease the amount of LDL-cholesterol in subjects by 23 %.
That’s an incredible decrease: in therapy with patients suffering from high-cholesterol a decrease by 23 % is highly desirable through medication. Standard medications lower the LDL-cholesterol level by 18-50 %, bringing along however a whole set of devastating side effects. Apples don’t.
#4 Benefit: Lower Risk of Cancer
According to a study conducted in Hawaii, there is a correlation between the consumption of apples and the risk of suffering from lung cancer in both genders: the higher the intake of apples, the lower the risk of lung cancer. As a matter of fact the subject group with the highest intake could register an unbelievable decrease of risk by 40-50 %.
This might be based on the high antioxidant activity in apples that deactivate certain enzymes (chemical compounds activating certain processes in the human body) that are responsible for the development of lung cancer.
Another study, conducted by Harvard Medical School, could only prove a 21%-decrease in lung cancer within the female subject group.
Other Fruit, Same Effect?
Are the mentioned effects only induced by the consumption of apples? Are there any other fruits with the same benefits on the human body?
Yes, there are! A graphic by Cornell University illustrates the antioxidant activity in various fruits, which is primarily responsible for the above-mentioned effects.
Memory-Improving, lowering the risks of various diseases and life-extending—not bad for a traditional fruit.
Are apples part of your daily food intake? Share your opinions and comments below!