There might be more truth to the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” than we thought! Recent studies show that in fact, an apple a day might keep the weight away. Apples offer a wide range of nutritional value including a high nutrient content, high antioxidant levels and high fiber, making the fruit an extraordinary option for those who wish to keep their body nourished and keep extra weight away.
The average apple offers about 4 grams of filling fiber, 14% of the recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin C, 6% RDI of potassium, and 5% RDI of vitamin K. The high fiber content in apples contribute to their ability to manage weight. Vitamin C is important in supporting immune health for it is necessary for the proper function of T-cells and phagocytes, vitamin C is also considered an antioxidant and helps combat negative oxidative stress and reduce inflammation. Potassium is essential to the proper electrolyte balance of the body, which contribute not only to hydration but also to proper function of cells that have a membrane potential, that is, cells that conduct electricity as part of their physiological function. Vitamin K has been known to ensure proper blood clotting to prevent bleeding out in case of injury. While many of these nutrients can easily be found in a basic multivitamin, nothing replaces the life force and complexity and benefit that comes from getting nutrition from the whole food.
The Glycemic Index
An important aspect to consider when eating any food not just apples, is the food’s glycemic index. Glycemic index is defined as a measure of the speed at which glucose is released into the peripheral blood after it is digested. Foods with high glycemic indices are foods which are refined and highly processed, like soda. The high glucose levels in the blood are then followed by a release in insulin which help reduce blood sugar. This is important because sudden spikes in glucose and insulin in the blood, such as those caused by soda, lead to unstable blood sugar levels, more episodes of hunger, and a tendency to overeat and store fat.
Apples, Glycemic Index and Weight-loss
A big reason apples are so beneficial to overall health and weight-loss is due to the effects apples have on the glycemic index. Foods high in fiber like apples result in a much lower spike in the glycemic index which leading to decrease in appetite, stable blood sugar, decrease in insulin levels and less of a tendency to overeat. Recent studies show that the compounds in apples, fiber and polyphenols, remain undigested in the gut, enter the colon and ferment. This fermentation process promotes the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Restoring the balance of healthy bacteria reduces inflammation and contributes to feelings of fullness, which in turn can lead to weight loss. Be consistent and add apples into your diet on a regular basis for optimal health!