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Monday, March 10, 2014

10 Reasons to Eat an Apple a Day

Apples are one of the most popular fruits on the planet. This is one sweet treat that you can feel good about eating. Apples are packed with disease-fighting vitamins, antioxidants and more, easily making them one of the top-ranked fruits for your health.

Health Benefits of Apples

10 Reasons to Eat an Apple a Day

  • Apples help to reduce cholesterol
  • Studies indicate that eating apples daily can reduce skin diseases
  • Apples provide a source of potassium which may promote heart health
  • Brain Health: Apples have been found to protect neuron cells against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity and may play an important role in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease
  • Apples are packed with vitamins C, A, and flavonoids and with smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron and calcium
  • Apples are filled with fiber. This fiber has been shown to reduce intestinal disorders, including diverticulitis, hemorrhoids and possibly some types of cancer
  • Apples have only 50-80 calories and no fat or sodium
  • Stroke: Eating apples is linked to a decreased risk of stroke
  • Heart Disease: Eating apples is associated with a lower risk of death from heart disease, an association that’s thought to be related to their content of antioxidant flavonoids
  • Multiple studies have shown apple intake to be associated with decreased risk of asthma

History of Apples

The apple tree, which originally came from Eastern Europe and southwestern Asia, has spread to most temperate regions of the world. Over the centuries, many hybrids and cultivars have been developed, giving us the 7,000 varieties in the market today.

Apples have long been associated with the biblical story of Adam and Eve, although there is actually no mention that, in fact, the fruit in question was actually an apple. In Norse mythology, apples were given a more positive persona: a magic apple was said to keep people young forever. Apples' most recent appearance in history occurred in the 1800s in the U.S., when Johnny Appleseed—a real person named John Chapman—walked barefoot across an area of 100,000 square miles, planting apple trees that provided food and a livelihood for generations of settlers.