Proper nutrition forms the foundation of a healthy lifestyle, but it can be hard to know which foods offer the most nutritional value. There’s a lot of conflicting information out there, and it can be difficult to sort through it all. This article will give you some solid advice to ensure that your diet is as healthy as possible.
Apples are considered nutrient-dense fruits, meaning they provide a lot of nutrients per serving.
The current Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend 2 cups of fruit daily for a 2,000-calorie diet, emphasizing whole fruits, like apples.
One medium 7-ounce (200-grams) apple offers the following nutrients
- Calories: 104
- Carbs: 28 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Vitamin C: 10% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Copper: 6% of the DV
- Potassium: 5% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 4% of the DV
The same serving also provides 2–5% of the DV for vitamins E, B1, and B6.
Vitamin E serves as a fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin B1 — also known as thiamine — is needed for growth and development, and vitamin B6 is essential for protein metabolism
Apples are also a rich source of polyphenols, an important group of antioxidants. Antioxidants are compounds that protect your cells from free radicals — harmful molecules that contribute to the development of chronic conditions, like heart disease and cancer
While nutrition labels don’t list these plant compounds, they’re likely responsible for many of apples’ health benefits
To get the most out of apples, leave the skin on, as it contains half of the fiber and most of the polyphenols
2. May support weight loss
Apples are high in fiber and water, two qualities that make them filling.
An increasing feeling of fullness works as a weight-loss strategy, as it helps manage your appetite. This, in turn, might lead you to reduce your energy intake.
In one study, eating whole apples increased feelings of fullness for up to 4 hours longer than consuming equal amounts of apple purée or juice. This happened, because whole apples reduce gastric emptying — the rate at which your stomach empties its contents.
3. Could be good for your heart
Apples have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease.
One reason may be that they contain soluble fiber. This kind of fiber can help lower your blood cholesterol levels.
Another reason may be that they offer polyphenols. Some of these, namely the flavonoid epicatechin, may lower blood pressure.
Studies have also linked high intakes of flavonoids with a lower risk of stroke.
Plus, flavonoids can help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol oxidation, and reducing atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
4. Linked to a lower risk of diabetes
Eating apples may also reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes.
A compilation of studies found that eating apples and pears was associated with an 18% reduction in type 2 diabetes risk. In fact, just one serving per week may reduce the risk by 3% (17Trusted Source).
Their high content of the antioxidant polyphenols quercetin and phloridzin could explain this beneficial effect.
Quercetin’s anti-inflammatory effects may reduce insulin resistance, a big risk factor for the onset of diabetes. Meanwhile, phloridzin is believed to reduce sugar uptake in the intestines, contributing to a reduced blood sugar load and thereby reduced diabetes risk.
5. May promote gut health
Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds your gut microbiota, which is the good bacteria in your gut.
Being involved in many functions related to both health and disease, your gut microbiota plays an essential role in your overall well-being. A healthy gut is often key for better health.
Since dietary fiber cannot be digested, pectin reaches your colon intact, promoting the growth of good bacteria. It especially improves the ratio of Bacteriodetes to Firmicutes, the two main types of bacteria in your gut.
New research suggests that, by beneficially altering your gut microbiota, apples may help protect against chronic diseases like obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
6. Might help prevent cancer
Antioxidants in apples may offer beneficial effects against certain types of cancers, including lung, breast, and digestive tract cancers.
Test-tube studies suggest that these effects may be attributed to apple polyphenols keeping cancerous cells from multiplying.
What’s more, one study in women reported that higher apple intakes were linked to a lower risk of cancer death.
Apples’ fiber content may also contribute to their cancer-fighting properties.
For example, another test-tube study found that apple pectin fiber could inhibit the growth of cancerous cells and even trigger their death.
However, further research in humans is needed to better understand the possible link between apples and cancer prevention — for example, to identify adequate amounts and eating timing (27Trusted Source).
7. Could help fight asthma
Antioxidant-rich apples may help protect your lungs from oxidative damage.
An excess of harmful molecules called free radicals can cause oxidative damage. This may lead to inflammatory and allergenic responses in your body.
Apple skin is rich in the antioxidant quercetin, which can help regulate your immune system and reduce inflammation. Theoretically, this could make apples effective against late phases of bronchial asthma responses.
Supporting this, test-tube and animal studies suggest quercetin may be a suitable treatment for allergic inflammatory diseases like asthma and sinusitis.
8. May help protect your brain
Quercetin in apples may protect your brain from damage caused by oxidative stress.
Research in rats shows that quercetin’s antioxidant effects may protect the brain and nerves from oxidative damage and prevent injuries that can result in degenerative brain diseases, like Alzheimer’s disease or dementia
In addition, quercetin may prevent stress-associated nerve damage by regulating oxidative and inflammatory stress markers
Nevertheless, keep in mind that most research focuses on a specific compound instead of whole apples. Therefore, further research is still needed before any conclusions can be drawn.
Apples are an incredibly nutritious fruit that offers multiple health benefits.
They’re rich in fiber and antioxidants. Eating them is linked to a lower risk of many chronic conditions, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Apples may also promote weight loss and improve gut and brain health.
Even though more research is still needed to better understand how apples affect human health, you can’t go wrong with this tasty, versatile, and easily accessible fruit.
Simple Health Tips For Everyday Living
If you like to drink soda pop, then this one is for you. You can make your own simple fruit juice sodas by mixing 1 part of your favorite juice with 2 parts carbonated water (soda water or seltzer is fine). If it’s not sweet enough, just add a bit more juice. This tastes really good with grape, cranberry, apple, or peach juices. Lemon or lime works too, so long as you combine it with a sweet juice such as apple. By drinking this instead, you reduce the number of the calories per drink, and it has the added benefit of giving you the extra vitamins and minerals that are naturally in the fruit juice.
It is important to start good nutrition early on in life. Children will develop their tastes around what you feed them when they are young. For this reason, make sure to offer your child a wide range of tastes and textures, as well as introducing them to whole grains, fruits and vegetables.
Sick of boring meals? One great and simple nutrition tip for making your food taste better is to use spices. Read up on what spices go well with different kinds of meats and other dishes and keep a list. Then visit your local grocery store to purchase these spices. Then get cooking!
Thiamin is an important part of a healthy diet. Thiamin works in the body to help you use energy from carbohydrates effectively. It also helps to regulate your appetite. Muscle function, heart and nervous system are all assisted by this vitamin. Thiamin is found in many foods in small amounts, but you won’t find it in refined foods.
If you’re looking to improve your nutritive intake, but aren’t yet ready to make huge changes, start with small ones. For example, if you like white bread, it’s completely painless to switch to one of the “soft wheat” breads currently available. Some brands are as white as their low-fiber white-bread cousins, yet they provide much more fiber per slice.
For optimal health, include foods in your daily diet that contain probiotics. Probiotics are the good bacteria that live inside your body. They aid in digestion and the proper break-down of foods so your body can absorb the nutrients efficiently. They work against the bad bacteria that sometimes invade your digestive system and cause diarrhea.
To ensure you are starting your day off right, have some oatmeal for breakfast. The grains in a nice cup of oatmeal will help you fill up and keep you feeling full longer.
If you’re an athlete and need to keep your body in peak condition, it’s crucial to eat a healthy, nutritious diet. Never exercise on an empty stomach. Eat a carbohydrate-rich and easily digestible meal about an hour before you work out. Fruit, whole-wheat bread and oatmeal, all make great fuel for a workout.
Monitoring the amount of trans fats you consume is paramount for a nutritionally sound diet. Trans fats are very difficult for your body to process and easily lead to heart problems, weight gain and other negative side effects. You can find the amount of trans fats in your food easily by checking the nutrition label.
While you are at the grocery store, allow your children to help you make choices. If you give them a choice of what fruits and veggies they want, then they’re more likely to want to eat them. This is a way to get them to try new things, particularly if they find choices with bright colors.
Cholesterol is one of the most damaging things that you can put into your body. Try to eliminate cholesterol from your diet, not only to increase your heart flow but also to improve your mood during the course of the day. Lowering cholesterol reduces toxins in your body, which can play a big role in weight loss.
Low fat energy bars are a great snack that you can choose before you go to work. They will supply you with the energy that you need, with very low fat and sugar content. These bars are also great to consume right before you go to the gym, to provide the energy necessary to perform your workout.
A great nutrition tip is to opt for white meat when you’re eating chicken or turkey. Although dark meat may taste good, it is much higher in fat. White meat is leaner and much healthier for you. Stay away from the thighs as well and stick with the breast.
As wonderful as it feels to find a delicious, distinctive food that is both crave-worthy and good for you,it is important to pace yourself. Believe it or not, even the most delightful treat will get old if you make it the focus of your diet. Avoid burnout; mix it up a little to keep yourself interested and inspired.
Cobalamin is an extremely important and often overlooked nutrient in the American diet. It is extremely necessary, as it is required for the proper functioning of red blood cells, which provide oxygen to the rest of the body. Good sources of it include animal foods and vegetarians are advised to take supplements.
Avoiding breakfast will screw up your morning. Many people think that not eating breakfast is a great way to take in less calories. This can make you eat more calories in the form of snacks because you are left hungry. Chances are, you’ll end up eating more than if you would have just eaten a breakfast at the beginning of the day.
This article should have helped you learn that eating a healthy diet doesn’t have to be difficult. There’s no need to resort to complicated formulas or the latest fad to get the nutrition you need. Just remember the basic advice you’ve learned from this article, and soon you’ll be eating healthier than ever.