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Health Benefits of Apples

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away!"

There is an old saying that goes, "To eat an apple going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread." This saying is justified by the apple's many health-promoting properties. Fossil remains show that apples were gathered and stored 5,000 years ago. It is likely that they were already cultivated during the Neolithic times.

Apples are delightfully crisp and juicy. Many varieties are available all year-round. Unlike grapes or ripe bananas, apples stay firm in a backpack or purse, requiring no special protection. This makes an ideal after-school snack, requiring no preparation other than a quick wash. Baked into pies or cobblers, apples rank high among comfort foods.

They have excellent detoxifiers as apple juice can actually destroy viruses in the body. In one recent study, Riu Hai Liu of Cornell University found that although apples contain only a small amount of Vitamin C, eating 100g of apple provides the same antioxidant activity as taking 1,500 mg of the vitamin.

The nutritional standouts in apples are fiber, flavonoids, and fructose. One apple provides up to 5 grams of fiber, more than many cereals.

This can help prevent heart disease and constipation. Apples contain virtually no fat so they can help lower harmful LDL cholesterol and raise beneficial HDL cholesterol.

The most common and popular apple are the Red Delicious as they are known to be one of the healthiest snacks on earth. It contains more antioxidants than other apple varieties. Jonagolds and Golden Delicious apples are known to contain quercetin which helps boost our memory. Granny Smith and Red Delicious apples are particularly good for the skin, fortifying both collagen and elastin. Drinking apple juice three times a day is said to prevent viruses from settling in the body.

People who eat apples may be less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Joyce Hendley reported in EatingWell Magazine that researchers who analyzed National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES) data, a survey of eating and health habits, found that people who had eaten apples in any form over the past day were 27 percent less likely to have symptoms of metabolic syndrome than those who didn’t. The apple eaters also had lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation whose presence in the blood suggests an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Fresh apples are readily available in stores at any time of month. Its best if you choose fresh, bright, firm textured apples with rich flavor as it would allow to you to gain the best nutrients. Avoid fruits with pressure marks over their surface as they indicate underlying mottled of pulp. Apples should be hard. If you can dent an apple with your finger, do not buy it.

Fresh apples can be kept at room temperature for a few days and stored inside the refrigerator for two to three weeks. Wash them in clean running cold water before you eat it to remove any surface dust and pesticide/fungicide residues.