I’m a big fan of fall. The cool, crisp air and the pumpkin-flavored fare is great.
But by far my favorite fall foods are the apples.
I know… boooring. But hear me out.
Because it turns out, apples aren’t just tasty. They pack a HUGE nutritional punch too.
In fact, they may be the most underappreciated superfood in the entire produce section.
Eating more of them can help us stay healthy.
But even more exciting is apples can literally help fight off some of the most devastating chronic diseases we face from diabetes to dementia.
6 fantastic reasons to eat MORE apples
You know what they say about apples and doctors… right? Well, that’s one old wives’ tale that actually happens to be TRUE.
Following are six real-world reasons to stock up on apples while they’re in season.
1. Prevent dementia:
Oxidative stress as we age can destroy our brain cells, increasing our risk of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias. But research published in the Journal of Food Sciences uncovered an exciting connection between the antioxidants in apples and better brain health.
It turns out apples could help us fight off all kinds of neurodegenerative diseases.
The antioxidants found in my favorite fall fruit lay a sort of blanket of protection around the same brain cells that oxidative stress targets and damages. They end up protecting those vulnerable cells from the free radical destruction, keeping them functioning and reducing your risk of all forms of dementia.
2. Avoid a stroke:
Researchers in Finland were trying to work out how quercetin, a potent nutrient found in apples, is able to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. But instead, they stumbled onto something completely different… and just as exciting. The apples given to the study volunteers slashed their risk of stroke.
3. Supercharge heart health:
The skin of apples is loaded with epicatechin, a powerful flavonoid. Research has shown that the multitasking phytonutrient can help…
- lower blood pressure
- reduce oxidated LDL cholesterol (the worst kind!)
- protect the heart against free radical attack
In fact, some experts say a regular dose of “apples” may even lower blood pressure as much as prescription statins. And that eating an apple a day could literally reduce your risk of dying from heart problems.
4. Build a wall against diabetes:
If you’ve sworn off everything sweet including fruit to keep diabetes at bay, you’re going to love this news. It’s time to put sweet-tooth-satisfying apples BACK on the menu.
A report published in The BMJ took a deeper dive into several massive studies and found eating apples three times per week LOWERED the chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Just make sure it’s the apple and not the juice. Apple juice is high in sugar and doesn’t contain the healthy fiber found in the whole fruit. So it’s no surprise that the juice raised risks.
5. Put the brakes on cancer:
A stack of studies from all over the world has linked apples to lower rates of cancer. But some of the most exciting results come to us from Cornell University right here in the U.S.
Cornell researchers found that an apple extract significantly reduced the size of breast cancer tumors. And it was what scientists call “dose dependent.” Which means the more extract that was introduced, the more the tumors shrunk.
Aim for an apple a day to mimic the results at home.
6. Feed your gut bugs:
A healthy gut is at the center of whole body health. And it’s yet another reason to do some apple picking this fall.
You hear a lot about probiotics these days. And it’s true, they’re critical for good health. But to keep those probiotics fat and happy you need to feed them what they crave most… and that’s prebiotics. And one of the best sources of prebiotic fiber is the humble apple.
So I encourage you to join me this fall in my apple worship. Just make sure the ones you choose are organic. Conventionally grown apples are one of the foods most likely to be contaminated with pesticides and herbicides.