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Topic summary contributed by volunteer(s): Andrew

Eating a variety of fruit has many health benefits including potentially reducing the risk of cancers such as breast, oral, larynx, colon, kidney, and ovarian. Apples may also reduce the risk of heart disease. Apples rank high (in a past top 12 list) in terms of antioxidants per serving and antioxidants per unit cost, but skip the juice. Apples contain potent phytonutrients that may increase protection from environmental dioxins. But apple juice has fewer phytonutrients, maybe due to removing the fiber. The fiber in whole apples slows the release of sugars into the blood stream, resulting in an insulin rise less than that caused by a hamburger patty. The fiber may also help promote good bacteria in our colons, and reduce the risk of stroke. Even dried apples have been shown to have extraordinary health-promoting benefits and may help with weight loss. We should keep the peel on for maximum benefits. Eating whole apples appears to be associated with improved mood, and be protective against asthma and skin wrinkles. Be cautious of potential fungal toxins in some conventional brands of apple juice and the brown spots within apples, but there does not appear to be any benzene (unlike carrot juice) in apple juice and the levels of AGEs in apples are low. Fruits and vegetables like apples are also lower in leucine, which may be an advantage.

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