Apple is one of the healthiest, low calorie super foods that is sought after by all the health enthusiasts. Scientifically known as Malus Domestica, apple is a pomaceous fruit, belonging to Rosaceae family. Besides the medicinal benefits, apples are delicious when eaten raw, in a pie, juices or jams. The crunchy consistency of the fruit along with its sweet mixed tart taste, juicy pulp, wide range of cultivars and ready availability has endeared it to people of all ages and regions.
Being as popular as it is since ancient times, apple is fairly common fruit all over the world, which has made people overlook its nutritional value and health benefits in comparison to more rare and exotic fruits. Scientific research has once again proved that the adage “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” to be true by discovering its various health benefits.
Storing and handling of apples should be done with care, since damage can spoil an apple, which later releases ethylene gas that can spoil other apples too.
Health Benefits of Apples
Eating fresh apples along with its skin gives maximum health benefits; in addition they keep the teeth sparkling white. Apples are rich in phyto-nutrients, anti-oxidants, dietary fiber, polyphenolic, flavonoids and electrolytes which are all essential for the healthy maintenance of our body. In addition to its nutritional value, apples are low in calorie and free from saturated fats or cholesterol.
Even the skin of the fruit is a good source of quercetin, a phytonutrient that is known to have anti-viral, anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory properties. The fruit is also sought after by people suffering from high cholesterol as it is rich in pectin, which is a soluble fibre that controls bad cholesterol from blocking the blood vessels. It also tends to reduce oxidation of fats known as lipid peroxidation in cell membranes.
It contains all essential vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Folic acid, Riboflavin and Niacin. It can also supplement the body with minerals like phosphorus, zinc, calcium, magnesium and iron. Regular consumption of apples is known to help in fighting ailments like:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Irregularity in blood sugar
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Bone loss
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Eye problems
- Glucose intolerance
- Fatty liver disease
- High cholesterol
- Gall stones
Apple Face Mask
Puree 1 peeled and cored apple, preferably green, in a blender. Add 2 tablespoon of honey to the puree and mix well. Apply thickly over the face and neck and leave it to dry for 15-20 minutes, before rinsing it off with warm water for beautiful and healthy skin.
Apple is often used as a remedy for sunburn. It also helps to rejuvenate, exfoliate, cleanse and nourish the skin.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been sought after by dieticians to be included in their weight loss programs. Besides helping in losing weight, apple cider vinegar helps in fighting skin inflammation, acnes, athlete’s foot, and skin pigmentation. It is also known as one of the best remedy for dandruff and itchy scalp.
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar mixed in a cup of warm water and consumed 3-4 times a day helps in fighting cold by rebalancing the acidic level in body.