Apples are in season during the fall months, so now’s a good time to take advantage of all the health benefits that apples have to offer. Of course, you'll want fresh, whole (peel and all) organic apples because fresh is better than processed, and you definitely don’t want pesticides and other toxins that are found in conventional produce. So, by going organic, that means you keep it clean.
There are so many health bonuses from apples, so let’s get started. Interestingly, the benefits start by just biting into and chewing the apple because eating apples creates more saliva in your mouth and reduces the amount of harmful bacteria that causes tooth decay. Also, apples may benefit brain power. An animal study showed that mice fed an “apple-enhanced diet” showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which plays a role in attention, and performed better on maze tests than mice on a regular diet.
Along those same lines, since apples contain ample amounts of antioxidants, they also may help protect the brain from free radical damage that causes the breakdown of precious nerve cells necessary for proper brain function. That’s not all apples’ antioxidants do, however. They’re also believed to help keep your eyes and all bodily cells healthy. For example, some recent long-term studies indicate that those who eat a diet rich in fruits containing antioxidants, such as apples, are 10 to 15 percent less likely to develop cataracts.
Additionally, scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research say that the consuming flavonol-rich apples—and flavonols are antioxidants—can help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent. Cornell University researchers have found antioxidant compounds called terpenoids in apple peels that have powerful anti-growth effects against cancer cells in the liver, colon and breast.
One notable antioxidant found in apples is the flavonoid quercetin, which is known to help bolster your immune system function, particularly if you’re under stress. Quercetin is also thought to provide a high level of support for neurological and brain health and for keeping cellular unhealth at bay.
And while we’re on the topic of quercetin. . . the University of Maryland Medical Center states that quercetin has anti-inflammatory and antihistamine properties that may also reduce allergy symptoms. Incidentally, you get the most quercetin when you consume whole apples, including the skin. Without the apple skin, quercetin levels diminish significantly.
And let’s not forget about the soluble fiber in apples, which helps in balancing blood sugar levels, supporting healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy weight, heart health, gallbladder health and overall digestive health, including helping transit time—to either speed things up or to slow them down digestion-wise. Apples are also awesome for helping to detoxify the liver, the chief detoxifying organ of the body, so that it is able to perform its work more efficiently.
It’s no wonder, then, with all these health benefits that the saying came about that an apple a day helps keep the doctor away!