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An Apple a Day

Most of us have a vague notion of the health benefits of apples. They’re supposed to keep doctors away, right? Aside from brimming with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, one apple gives you a whopping five grams of fiber and only about 80 calories. Studies have shown that eating apples regularly can reduce your chances of developing cardiovascular disease, cancer and diabetes.

Apples may also help preserve brain function. When old rats were given apples or apple juice, their performance in maze navigation improved significantly. Specific antioxidants in the fruit contribute to the brain-building effects.

Most of an apple’s antioxidants, such as quercetin, are in the peel. A lot of the fiber is there too, which is a big part of the reason it’s a low-glycemic-index fruit. Apples, however, may be good for more than just your health.

According to a study in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, rats got almost a 100 percent increase in gastrocnemius-muscle strength when given apple polyphenols. 

 —Becky Holman

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