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Today we take a look at that old staple…the apple… and ask a question that I’m sure has been weighing on you for months, years…even decades.
Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?
We all remember that saying when we were kids. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Now it’s time to take a look at that saying and ask ourselves…fact or fiction?
It seems like only yesterday when we were bringing those shiny apples to school thinking it was not only potentially good for our grades, but also good for our teacher’s health.
The question is…Is an apple each and every day really good for you?
It turns out that a single red delicious apple has a grand total of 25 grams of carbohydrates and up to 95 calories. That is not an insignificant amount.
For those of us that may be working on losing weight and have a carbohydrate restriction, 25 grams of carbs may really eat into our daily allotment pretty quickly.
We should remember, though, that there are many positives about the mighty apple.
Apples contain many of the vitamins we need. They contain Vitamin B6, which helps your body create numerous neurotransmitters, chemicals that transmit signals from one nerve cell to another.
B6 also helps in the production of the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which impact on your mood, and melatonin, which helps synchronize your body’s biological clock.
According to the USDA, one medium-sized apple also provides 8.4 milligrams of Vitamin C.
Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, helps to synthesize collagen, a component of tendons, ligaments, blood vessels, skin and cartilage. Vitamin C also helps repair and maintain bones and teeth and helps wounds to heal.
Vitamin B-1, thiamine, is also known as anti-stress vitamin because it powers up your immune system and improves your body’s ability to cope tense conditions.
Apples also contain Vitamin B-2 or riboflavin. Your body needs riboflavin for growth, production of red bloods cells and to convert folate and vitamin B-6 into usable forms.
Another positive feature of apples is the amount of antioxidants that they possess. The red delicious apple has the highest amount of antioxidants.
Antioxidants help you stay healthier by decreasing inflammation in your body. They have the power to protect you from disease and slow the aging process. They relieve what is known as oxidative stress, which occurs when free radicals attack your cells.
Oxidative stress can also lead to a decrease in your body’s immune system and an increase in susceptibility to certain medical conditions such a heart disease and diabetes.
In order to keep your body healthy and your immune systems strong, you must consume a fair amount of antioxidants.
So at the end of the day, although the apple does deliver 25 grams of carbohydrates, it also delivers vitamins and some of the antioxidant protection we need. This means that there is a lot an apple can do for you, but especially if watching your carbs, maybe just not on a daily basis. You can also get vitamins and antioxidants from berries and of course from multivitamins and supplements like fish oil.
So the mighty apple? Eat up, but think about having 3-4 in a week instead of a daily staple.