Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Eat Your Apples

Looking to stay trim? Apples are ranked as one of the most satisfying foods to control appetite. Satiety, the physical sensation of appetite being satisfied, is short lived after eating refined foods and simple sugars such as pretzels, crackers, and juice. Highly satiating foods, such as apples, have high fiber and water content, which fill your stomach for less calories.

The skin of apples contain a compound called ursolic acid, which increased calorie burn and reduced the risk of obesity in one animal study. Another compound, called quercetin, has been found to inhibit enzymes that breakdown carbohydrates. The compounds decrease the absorption of glucose in the digestive tract and stimulate insulin receptors which increase uptake of glucose helping less sugar enter your bloodstream.

Ranked as one of the top antioxidant rich fruits, apples are associated with a decreased risk of chronic disease. One medium apple has 90 calories and is packed with 4g of fiber. A type of soluble fiber found in the flesh of an apple, called pectin, has been shown to lower “bad”  LDL cholesterol and possibly decrease blood pressure as well. Other phytonutrients found in apples has been shown to prevent oxidation, inflammation, and cancer.

Brain health studies have found promising signs of apples protecting neurons from oxidative stress which could help reduce the risk of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s Disease. Pulmonary research has also found regular apple consumption was associated with better lung function and lower risk of asthma particularly in children.

All varieties of apples offer health benefits and should be part of your healthy balanced diet. Some studies did identify certain varieties having higher phytonutrient levels than other. These varieties include: Fuji, Red  Delicious, Northern Spy, Fortune, Gala, and Liberty.

When considering the type of apple to purchase, organic varieties contain far less pesticides and residue compared to commercial varieties. Skinning an apple with help remove residue, however a large amount of nutrients will be lost. Purchasing organic and eating the skin provides the most nutrients with the least exposure to pesticides and harmful residue.

Apples make for a wonderful snack and pairing it with protein will increase your satiety even more. One medium apple and 10 almonds is 160 calories. Or try pairing it with 1 tbs of peanut butter for 185 calories. 

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