A recent study published in ACS’s Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry indicates apples can actually extend your lifespan by as much as 10%! So why are they so healthy for us?
Apples are loaded with antioxidants that help protect the body against damage by free radicals- these are toxins that can damage the body’s cells such as cigarette smoke, pollutants, and even poor food choices. Out of all foods, apples also contain some of the highest levels of procyanidins, a flavonoids shown to improve vascular health. The highest amount of this flavonoid was found in the Red Delicious and Granny Smith apples.
They also contain a high level of quercetin, which is an anti-inflammatory substance that has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. When our body is inflamed, it is easier for plaque to build in our arteries and cause a blockage. By reducing this inflammation, this may help to prevent plaque buildup and in turn prevent heart disease. Quercetin has also been shown to help prevent fat cells from expanding, especially around the waistline, which may help prevent accumulation of visceral fat, the most dangerous form of fat!
So not only do they taste great, but apples may protect your heart, shrink your waistline, and help you live a longer and healthier life! So dig in!
Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy apples:
*Dark Chocolate Covered Apple Slices- Dip apples in 60% cocoa or higher dark chocolate, chill, and enjoy: Apples contain a high level of quercetin, which is an anti-inflammatory substance that has been shown to lower the risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate contains catechins, which can help decrease the risk of hardening arteries. When eaten together, these two substances can help to reduce the stickiness of blood platelets, which can provide another protective benefit to your heart.
*Peanut Butter Apple Crunch – Take thinly sliced apples, cover in natural peanut butter, and roll in oat flakes
*Cinnamon Apple Oats- puree fresh apples into an applesauce consistency, mix into warm steel cut oats, and top w/ cinnamon
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