Hi there, Mamas! December 1 is National Eat a Red Apple Day. I’m not sure who is tasked with these unofficial food holidays, but I would have to say this one is pretty great! Everyone knows the old adage “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I won’t swear to that, but I will say that apples certainly offer a lot of health benefits! Let’s see what this forbidden fruit can do for us.
An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away
What’s this history with this saying? It apparently started in the 1860’s in Wales and means exactly what it says. The original saying was more akin to: “Eat an apple before going to bed and you’ll keep a doctor from earning his bread,” which sounds a bit mean. But apples do pack a lot of health benefits!
They are extremely low in sodium and fat (plus, cholesterol free, as that’s only found in animal foods). They are high in fiber and water, plus vitamins and minerals. One such vitamin is Vitamin C, which is touted for its immune-boosting properties.
The polyphenols (a type of antioxidant) found in apples can help minimize blood sugar spikes, which can be beneficial for the treatment or prevention of diabetes. An apple’s antioxidants also works with it’s soluble fiber to improve the health of blood vessels and lower cholesterol. This minimizes the risk of heart disease.
RDN Mama’s Basic Vinaigrette Recipe
An Apple a Day Keeps Weight Gain at Bay (and Lets Your Heart Say “Yay”)
Apples have a high fiber and water content. This helps you feel fuller quicker (so you eat less at one time) and longer (so you can last a little longer between meals).
Insoluble fiber helps with gut health and is found in the skin of apples (and other fruits and vegetables). It helps to move things along in your gut. Getting enough insoluble fiber can help you become “regular” and ensures that your waste isn’t just hanging out in your intestines, waiting to be excreted. (Nice visual, eh?)
Soluble fiber is found in the flesh of an apple. This forms a gel with water in the intestines and scrapes along slowly… pulling cholesterol and toxins along with it to be excreted.
So, ultimately, apples can help you reduce your risk of heart disease by managing weight and reducing cholesterol.
RDN Mama’s Eating for a Healthy Heart
An Apple a Day Helps Prevent Tooth Decay
Apples (and other crisp fruits and vegetables) can help remove plaque from teeth… and even freshen breath! Malic acid, which is found in some teeth whiteners, is naturally found in apples. Eating apples over time may just whiten your smile, as well.
So… should you really eat an apple a day?
Well, apples can help prevent against two of the most common chronic diseases, aid in weight loss, and promote healthy teeth? I would say for sure have one a day… as a part of your (at least) 5 fruit and vegetable servings. Remember, there is no one ultimate “super food” that is a cure all or magical in any respect. Healthy foods work in synergy to help our bodies function optimally.