|“Eat an apple while going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”– Old Welsh Proverb|
The forbidden fruit may have been the fall of mankind in the Book of Genesis, but for centuries now, we have considered apples to be the go-to snack to keep the doctor away. However, is there any truth to the old adage?
Apples trace their history back to as long as 6500 B.C. with the trees growing to 60 feet tall and producing fruits of all shades of red, yellow, green, and purple(1) in their ancestral home of present-day Kazakhstan.
Various trade routes passing through these trees spread the fruit to different countries, and eventually, to different continents. Naturally, apple hybridized with the local species and gave birth to over 7,500 different types of trees across the world(2).
|25% of an apple’s volume is air. That is why it floats when you toss it into water.|
Nutritional Value of an Apple
|Serving – 100gm|
|In ancient Greece, to throw an apple at someone was considered declaring one’s love; and similarly, to catch it implied the acceptance of that love.|
What Makes Apple the Fruit of Choice?
Referred to as the ‘nutrition powerhouse’, apples have several research-backed benefits that make them a favorite of the health-conscious. Read on to know some of these!
1. Lowers the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
In Type-2 diabetes, you suffer from insulin resistance, i.e. your body produces insulin, but your cells are resistant to it. Apples are rich in polyphenols – micronutrients packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants stimulate your pancreas to release insulin and aid your cells in absorbing sugar, reducing insulin resistance significantly.
Moreover, apples contain anthocyanin, a flavonoid with antioxidant properties responsible for the color of the fruit. A 2005 study(3) found that consuming this flavonoid-rich food daily (or even 2-4 apples per week) can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes by 28%.
[ Read: Natural Treatments for Diabetes ]
2. Reduces Blood Cholesterol
A study indicates that the amount of fiber found in two medium-sized apples (50-60 grams) can decrease your total cholesterol levels by 5% to 13% if consumed daily. The antioxidants and pectin present in the fruit lower LDL (the bad cholesterol) by 23% and increase HDL (the good cholesterol) by 4%.
Since bad cholesterol levels directly affect your heart, naturally, consuming apples and managing your blood sugar levels results in a reduced risk of heart diseases. In fact, an observational study(4) concluded that the more fruits (specifically, apple) adults consumed, the more their risk of cardiovascular diseases reduced.
3. Increases Immunity to Fight Cancer
Procyanidins, a type of antioxidant present in apples, is known to kill colon cancer cells in animals. Researchers believe that the fruit could have the same or an even better effect on humans. Another study suggests that apples significantly inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells, while not affecting the good cells at all.
In fact, a review of the data from over 40 studies that dealt with diet and cancer concluded that consuming at least one apple a day reduces the risk of lung, mouth, bowel, or digestive tract tumors as well.
[ Read: Morning Banana Diet Benefits ]
4. Aids in Weight Loss
Low in calories and high in fiber, apples are also made up of 86% water, making them one of the best fruits for weight loss. A study(5) in which middle-aged women were randomly selected to consume three apples per day (without altering their usual diet) concluded that apples could significantly reduce body weight over time.
Additionally, an observational study(6) found that apples can help you feel full, reducing the likelihood of you overeating.
|Apples may also help improve your memory. They contain high levels of boron, which increases your mental awareness by stimulating the electrical activity of the brain.|
How Does an Apple Diet Work?
To start, you can follow this 4-day apple diet plan and then continue based on your convenience or the results you experience.
Your first day will only be an apple and water diet. First, you need to start with an apple detox to cleanse your body of all the other foods. Have only an apple for all three meals and supper. Drink lots of water.
Again, have an apple for all four meals. But, this time, have a green vegetable salad after your apple at lunch. Ensure that you keep yourself hydrated throughout the day.
For breakfast, combine your apple with a healthy meal. Have an apple, followed by a salad for lunch. Consume an apple for supper and one for dinner. Do not forget to drink plenty of water.
Have an apple before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Ensure that the meals you have after the fruit are healthy and that you drink enough water throughout the day. Have only an apple for supper.
And there you have it! The idea of this diet is to simply include apples in your regular meals so that they can substitute for any overeating and unhealthy food consumption. Once you have gotten used to it, you can always include your favorite foods in the diet as well.
[ Read: Grapefruit Diet Benefits ]
What Are the Downsides of an Apple Diet?
Unless you have a specific condition, apples are generally accepted well by the body. However, a few exceptions to the diet are.
- The fruit’s high fiber may cause digestive problems in people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and people who are fructose-intolerant.
- Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid such rigorous diets.
Even though you may not fall under any of these categories, it is still recommended that you consult your physician before starting the apple diet.
When you are on an Apple DIet, ensure that the apples make sure that they are you choose are firm and feel heavy and that the skin doesn’t have any bruises. Also, make sure to store them in the refrigerator since they ripen quickly at room temperature.
A superfood like no other, apples really are everything that’s said about them. And for a snack to keep the doctor away, they don’t taste all that bad too!
[ Read: Paleo Diet Benefits ]
1. Can apples help lose belly fat?
Yes, apples are one of the best fruits for weight loss, and following an apple diet for weight loss can help you manage your belly fat significantly.
2. Should we eat apples at night?
No. Since your digestion slows down at night, the apple stays in your stomach longer and releases its natural acids which may cause your stomach distress.
3. Will apples make you fat?
No; in fact, apples can aid you in losing weight because their water and fiber content is high. This means that including apples in your diet will help you consume fewer calories.