Why eat apples?

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”  Well it now looks like the old age might have some truth in it. Eating apples regularly (4 or 5 times a week) can bring multiple health benefits according to nutritionists. So why eat apples? As with lots of other fruit, apples are high in fibre, particularly pectin which reduces cholesterol by blocking its absorption by the body. They are also packed with antioxidants helping to reduce the risk of diabetes, pancreatic and colon cancer. Apples are also high in potassium which helps control blood pressure. There is even some research to suggest that the phytochemicals in apples, such as flavanoids and phenolic acids, can help with breathing conditions and may even reduce the risk of asthma and other chronic lung problems.

It seems apples may also be good for our bones. Remarkably, researchers believe that a flavanoid called phloridzin, found ONLY in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.

There is even some research to suggest that eating apples can help in weight loss. As well as being a high fibre / low calorie food (with all the benefits that has for weight loss), the peel of an apple contains ursolic acid, which was linked to a lower risk of obesity in a recent study of mice. That's because it boosts the burning of calories and increases muscle.

So there are plenty of reasons to eat apples regularly. As well as eating them just as they are, try them sliced up in salads or cooked with pork. One medium apple provides 4 grams of fibre and about 95 calories.

Next week we are moving from apples to oranges.

Blog, NutritionClaire Edwards