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7 Incredible Health Benefits of Apples

Will an apple a day keeps the doctor away? Perhaps not, but there's certainly a whack of research supporting its nutritional benefits.

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Apple benefits - woman eating applePhoto: Shutterstock

Apples might help stave off Alzheimer’s disease

The health benefits of apples include the potential to ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Apples contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells from degeneration in rats and might do the same in humans. Dr. Ramani Soundararajan from Dalhousie Medical School and Dr. Vasantha Rupasinghe at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College found that the flavonoids in Red Delicious apples had strong neuroprotective effects.

Learn to spot the early signs of dementia.

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Apple benefits - basket of applesPhoto: Shutterstock

Apples can help prevent high blood pressure

There is overwhelming evidence that one-third of all cancer cases and half the incidences of cardiovascular disease and hypertension can be attributed to diet. Because apples are high in potassium, a mineral that helps control blood pressure, they can help reduce the risk of stroke.

Discover 20+ more foods that may help lower blood pressure.

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Apple benefits - apples can protect your heartPhoto: Shutterstock

Apples can protect your heart

University of California-Davis researchers found that apples and apple juice may help slow the oxidation process that is involved in the build up of plaque that leads to heart disease. Participants added only two apples or 12 ounces of apple juice to their diet daily and positive effects were evident after only six weeks.

Find out the 50 best foods for your heart.

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Apple benefits - picking applesPhoto: Shutterstock

Apples can help reduce cholesterol

A medium apple provides five grams of fibre—more than most cereals. They’re also packed with pectin, a soluble fibre that reduces cholesterol. Pectin prevents cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

Check out more fascinating facts about apples.

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Apple benefits - green granny smith applesPhoto: Shutterstock

Apples offer protection against colon cancer

When the natural fibre in apples ferments in the colon, it produces chemicals that help fight the formation of cancer cells, according to new research from Germany.

Find out more painless ways to increase dietary fibre.

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Apple benefits - apple juicePhoto: Shutterstock

Apples can help asthma sufferers

A study completed at Aberdeen University found there is strong evidence that a healthy diet rich in antioxidants and vitamins is good for asthma. Researchers found that when children sipped on apple juice their symptoms were relieved. Dr Peter Burney, who led the project, believes that the phytochemicals in apples, such as flavonoids and phenolic acids, help calm inflammation in the airways.

Learn to spot the symptoms of asthma in adults.

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Apple benefits - mature woman eating applePhoto: Shutterstock

Apples provide bone protection

Researchers believe that a flavonoid 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.

Now that you know the health benefits of apples, find out what happens when you start taking apple cider vinegar.
Reader's Digest Canada
Originally Published in Reader's Digest Canada