(NaturalNews) One might be quick to dismiss the age-old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," as a mere attempt to get children to eat their fruits and vegetables, but what if this simple fruit really can prevent that trip to the doctor's office?
Apples have been consumed since ancient times, especially by the Greeks and Romans who recognized the healing benefits of this often overlooked fruit. Only recently have Americans begun to give this fruit a second look on the supermarket shelves, and new research suggests they should! Jam-packed full of nutrients, the apple contains rich sources of vitamin C, dietary fiber, beta-carotene, flavonoids, phytosterols, antioxidants, and a wide range of vitamins, minerals, and amino acids - all ingredients the body needs for healing.
Surprisingly, the apple has been extensively researched and is known to produce a wide array of health benefits including the following:
1. Studies show that the soluble fiber (pectin) in the apple promotes digestive health, counteracts the negative effects of radiation therapy, prevents gallstones, and rids the body of various toxins including aluminum. In addition, pectin slows the absorption of food which is beneficial for people with diabetes, hypoglycemia, and obesity.
2. In several large epidemiological studies conducted in Europe, consuming two apples a week was found to prevent and promote the healing of asthma, type 2 diabetes, and inflammation.
3. Researchers at the University of California found that apples have the ability to prevent tumors.
4. Consuming one apple a day has been found to lower bad cholesterol levels by 8-11%. Eating two apples a day could lower these levels by as much as 16%.
5. A diet that incorporates apples could reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 20%.
6. Even the peel of an apple has antioxidants and nutrients rich enough to inhibit the body's aging process, prevent cancer, and lower bad cholesterol. In fact, research shows that the skin of an apple could lower the risk of colon cancer by 43% and liver cancer by 57%. Furthermore, research conducted by the University of Wisconsin showed that the nutrients in an apple peel could prohibit abnormal cell growth, various cancers, and metastasis (the spreading of cancer throughout the body).
7. French researchers found the phloridzin (a flavanoid only found in apples) may protect against osteoporosis and increases bone density.
8. Research at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the free radical damage linked to Alzheimer's disease. In addition, one apple a day was shown to reduce the risk of breast cancer by 17%, and consuming three apples a day reduced the risk by 39%.
9. A study of 10,000 people showed that those who consumed apples on a regular basis had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer.
10. In a Brazilian weight loss study, women who ate three apples a day lost significantly more weight while dieting than those who didn't.
11. In asthma studies, women who consumed apples regularly during pregnant reduced their child's risk of asthma.
12. Apples have been shown to promote oral health and healthy skin.
The apple itself is small, but the benefit of consuming just one apple daily provides vast health benefits ranging from glowing, radiant, skin to cancer prevention. To prevent another trip to the doctor's office and the prescription medications that go along with it, try eating an apple a day - it actually might keep the doctor away!
Mateljan, George., "The World's Healthiest Foods."
Balch, Phyllis., CNC, "Prescription for Nutritional Healing."
Reader's Digest, "Foods that Harm Foods that Heal."
About the author
Megan Heimer is a lawyer, natural health therapist, registered yoga teacher, has a bachelor's degree in political science, and will soon complete her doctorate in naturopathic medicine. She has extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, natural health, and alternative medicine. Megan is currently conducting research on various natural health topics, writing a book, and counsels clients in natural healing all over the world. Check out her blogs at: www.megansmind-holisticwellness.blogspot.com and measrevolution.wordpress.com