You’ve heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” It’s an old English adage, but there’s actually a lot of truth to the saying: Study after study shows the merits of eating antioxidant-rich apples include everything from cancer prevention to reduced risk of heart attack to improving the health of your brain. Best of all, the fruit weighs in at under 100 calories a pop, which means they’re part of a healthy diet and may even help you lose weight!
Take a look at our list of the health benefits that come from eating apples then stock up on the red and green fruits at the grocery store. (Use our handy apple guide to select the right type for you.) Remember, much of the health benefits of apples can be found in the peel, so aim to eat whole apples, not apple sauce or apple juice.
The latest research shows:
Apples may work as well as statins: A majority of adults over 50 are prescribed statins to lower cholesterol, but a new study from the UK found that eating an apple each day is just as effective at reducing risk of heart attacks and strokes. As in, you get the same health benefits as with statins but without any side-effects.
Apples may reduce risk of type 2 diabetes: If you’re looking for a sweet treat, choose an apple. Thanks to its high fiber content, low calories, and lack of fat, the fruit is healthier for you than baked goods and other sugary desserts. In fact, it may be even better for you than other fruits: In one recent study from Harvard University, researchers found that apples, blueberries, and grapes were even more effective at reducing risk of type 2 diabetes than grapefruits and peaches.
Apples may reduce risk of lung cancer: A study out of Hawaii found that eating apples can reduce risk of lung cancer by around half. Researchers suspect that this cancer protection comes from the flavonol quercetin which is abundant in apples as well as onions.
Apples may slash risk of colorectal cancer: Apples have the second highest antioxidant content of all fruits, which is why the researchers behind one study from the Review of Environmental Health suspect apples were so effective at preventing colorectal cancer. In fact, the more servings of apple a person worked into their day, the lower their risk of cancer.
Apples may reduce risk of memory problems: Dozens of studies link a diet full of fruits and vegetables with reduced risk of dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, and other age-related memory problems. But some research suggests that the flavonol quercetin is especially helpful in protecting gray matter from these disorders.
Apples may decrease risk of Parkinson’s Disease: A new study from Harvard School of Public Health found that the people who ate the most apples had a 40% reduced risk of Parkinson’s Disease, thanks to the high flavonoid content. Parkinson’s Disease is best known as the condition affecting Michael J. Fox.