Eat Apples and Live Healthier

You've heard the old proverb, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," but do you really know the truth of this statement? As you study the complexities of how nutrition affects the human body with Horizons, Switched-On Schoolhouse®, or LIFEPAC® health curriculum from Alpha Omega Publications, you may wonder how eating just one or two apples a day can make a difference to your homeschool family's health. Here are a few facts you'll want to learn about this popular fruit: Eating an apple...

Prevents heart disease
Apples contain quercetin, a natural, anti-inflammatory phytonutrient that reduces the risk of coronary heart disease.

Relieves asthma
Recent studies showed that children who suffer with asthma and consume apple juice daily wheeze less than those who only consumed apple juice once a month. Another study revealed that children have lower rates of asthma when their mothers ate a regular diet of apples during pregnancy.

Lowers cholesterol
Apples contain pectin, which lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol as much as 16 percent in people who eat two apples per day.

Protects bones
According to French researchers, phloridzin, a flavanoid found only in apples, may increase bone density and protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis. Boron, which is also found in apples, is known to strengthen bones.

Prevents lung cancer
In a study of 10,000 people, researchers believe that those who ate the most apples had a 50 percent lower risk of developing lung cancer due to the high levels of flavonoids, naringin, and quercetin found in apples.

Prevents colon cancer and other intestinal disorders
One five-ounce apple provides the human body with more than three grams of fiber, which is ten percent of the recommended daily intake. This high fiber content prevents life-threatening colon and rectal cancer, as well as other disorders that involve the intestinal tract, such as inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and diverticulitis.

Manages diabetes
The pectin found in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body, reducing the body's need for insulin. Since apples naturally regulate blood sugar levels in the body, many diabetes patients have found that regularly eating apples reduces, and even in some cases, eliminates their need for medication.

Increases weight loss
Weight loss is increased by the beneficial fiber content in apples. Plus, the polyphenols found in apples have demonstrated the ability to regulate fat metabolism. In fact, according to data collected and analyzed in the 1999-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), the government's largest food consumption and health database, Dr. Victor Fulgoni said, "We found that adults who eat apples and apple products have smaller waistlines that indicate less abdominal fat, lower blood pressure, and a reduced risk for developing what is known as the metabolic syndrome."

Prevents Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases
According to recent studies on mice at Cornell University, the quercetin phytonutrient found in apples may protect brain cells from the damage that causes Alzheimer's and Parkinson's.

Although the same vitamins and minerals found in apples could also be found in any daily multi-vitamin, the combination of minerals, vitamins, and other plant components working together seems to be what "keeps the doctor away" when eating an apple. More than just an all-natural snack, apples just might be the perfect fruit. Not only do they look appealing and taste great, they also provide a variety of health benefits that God designed to help keep the human body strong in order to serve Him.

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Jim R 09/08/2008 07:08:55

I\'m eating more apples! Even if only one fact were true, that\'s enough for me.

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