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5 ways Apples keep you healthy

It’s a Granny Smith, a McIntosh, or a Red Delicious, you think of apples as old friends. Grown throughout the world, apples are high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They’re fat-free, cholesterol-free, and low in sodium. In short, eating apples is a smart part of a healthy lifestyle.

 

* REGULATES YOUR DAY - You don’t have to worry about staying regular anymore. Whether your problem is visiting the bathroom too often or nor often enough, apples can help.

A British researcher, Dr. D.P. Burkitt, believes one of the easiest ways to prevent all sorts of illnesses, is to avoid constipation. He calls the diseases caused by chronic constipation “pressure diseases.” Appendicitis, biventricular diseases, hemorrhoids, hiatal hernias, and even varicose veins can all be caused by straining to pass small, hard stools.

Just one apple with its skin contains 4 to 5 grams of fiber - the most important nutrient in keeping your bowels working like a broom. Keeping yourself regular without relying on harmful laxatives could be as easy as replacing that afternoon snack of potato chips or cookies with a crisp, delicious apple.

* KEEPS YOUR BODY YOUNG - By now you know antioxidants can protect you from many of the diseases that seem to be a part of aging. In fact, so many people are taking supplements for antioxidant protection that it’s become a multibillion dollar industry. But the evidence is mounting that whole foods can do more for you than pills.

When scientists compared a 1,500 milligram vitamin C supplement to one small apple, the results were astounding - the antioxidant values were equal. That means a fresh apple has more than 15 times the antioxidant power of the recommended daily dose of vitamin C. And that’s just for starters. The researchers also found an ordinary apple was able to stop the growth of colon and liver cancer cells in test tubes. Unpeeled apples were especially effective. The question you need to ask yourself: Why waste money on flavorless supplements when you can get better antioxidant firepower from a sweet, crunchy fruit?

* CUT YOUR RISK OF HEART DIESEASE - Sometimes it’s hard to remember which food is good for which part of your body. The next time you pick up an apple, examine it carefully. It’s shaped a bit like a heart - and that should help you remember apples are good for your heart.

It’s the magnesium and potassium in apples that help regulate your blood pressure and keep your heart beating steadily, and it’s the falconoid quartering, a naturally occurring antioxidant, that protects your artery walls from damage and keeps your blood flowing smoothly.

* STRIKES AT THE HEART OF STROKES - Apples are even a smart choice for helping avoid strokes. Scientists aren’t sure which ingredient in this multi-talented fruit to credit, but the connection is clear - people who regularly eat apples are less likely to have strokes than people who don’t.

* PROTECTS YOUR JOINTS - In areas of the world where fruits and vegetables make up a large part of the diet, very few people get arthritis. Compare this to modernized countries where fruits and vegetables have been replaced with fast, processed food and you’ll find up to 70 percent of the population suffers from some form of arthritis. Just a coincidence? Not according to nutrition experts. They link this trend in part to boron, a trace mineral many plants, including apples, absorb from the soil. Experts believe that you need anywhere from 3 to 10 mg a day to affect your risk of arthritis.

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