An apple a day

This small piece of fruit has so many health benefits for the human body and is fantastic for carrying around in your bag for a morning or afternoon snack. It may stop you from reaching for foods like a bar of chocolate or a packet of crisps and stop those hunger pangs in their tracks. They are, therefore, a fantastic source for controlling our weight as a medium apple is worth 95 calories and their high fibre content makes you feel fuller for longer - making them slower to digest.   


So what other benefits does this humble fruit provide?

1) Great for your teeth

Apples stimulate alkaline saliva flow which prevents acids from forming on your teeth. This reduces plaque on your teeth and fights bad breath. Although it does not mean that you stop cleaning your teeth with a toothbrush as well.

2) A healthier heart

The polyphenol compounds that are contained in an apple can help reduce blood cholesterol. A recent study undertaken on 40 volunteers has found that two apples eaten daily promoted HDL (the good cholesterol) and decreased the bad LDL, as well as improving endothelial function which regulates blood clotting and produces dilation and restriction of the blood vessels.

However, research on the determining factor is still ongoing as the effects could be down to the flavonoid contained in the apple skin or their soluble fibre content which binds the fats in the intestine but, either way, when eaten whole the study showed it had a marvellous effect on the heart and those with mildly elevated cholesterol. 

It can be the small changes that have a big impact and the tweaks in your diet can help you on the road to optimum health.

3) Decreases the risk of diabetes type 2

Apples contain fructose which has little effect on blood sugar levels and soluble fibre, which slows down digestion and sugar absorption. Another study suggested that the anthocyanin element of the apple which is their deep red, purple and blue pigments, enhanced glucose uptake and reduced glucose production in the liver. 

4) Detoxifies the liver

Due to their pectin content which binds heavy metals in the blood and slowly removes them through the intestinal tract, apples are great at assisting liver function. Apples also contain malic acid which eliminates toxins from the blood.

5) Prevents gallstones

Malic acid is also known to break apart gallstones enabling the fragments to pass through the body via urine. This acid is a large component of a gall bladder flush.

6) Good for diarrhoea and constipation      

Apples contain both insoluble and soluble fibre. Soluble fibre soaks up bodily fluid, therefore, lessening diarrhoea and insoluble fibre speeds the process of digestion and draws water into the stool bulking it out.   

7) Decreases and calms haemorrhoids

The effect of the above means that you are not straining when passing a stool so there is less risk of haemorrhoids, but do eat apples with the skin on as this increases the amount of insoluble fibre and the amount of flavonoid in the apple which calms any existing haemorrhoids.

8) Great for gut bacteria

An apple contains a very diverse bacterial colony. The average apple holds 100 million bacteria in this way they are classed as a prebiotic food with their fibres and natural sugars also stimulating good bacteria.

9) Boosts the immune system

Red apples are high in quercetin which is an antioxidant and a flavonoid. A recent study found that quercetin plays a big role in allergic disorders due to its anti-inflammatory properties and is an inhibitor of mast cell activation which is responsible for other symptoms of hives and swelling in allergic reactions. 

As you can see this fruit has a big range of health benefits and other fruits and vegetables also have theirs. It can be the small changes that have a big impact and the tweaks in your diet can help you on the road to optimum health. Please contact me to discuss where I can help you on your health journey.    

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Nutritionist Resource are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Chelmsford CM3 & Romford RM1
Written by Lisa Mehlman, DipNT, CNM, mNNA | Nutritional and Holistic Therapist
Chelmsford CM3 & Romford RM1

Lisa Mehlman Dip NT CNM mNNA has been a practising nutritional therapist since 2012. She has a particular interest in weight management, hormonal and gut health and blood sugar imbalances. She practices nutrition alongside holistic therapies such as reflexology which she has seen enhances treatment. Her home clinic is in Little Baddow, Essex.

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