An apple a day really DOES keep the doctor away! Click HERE for a great article on the top 15 health benefits of apples including protection against Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, various forms of Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Disease and more.
I often carry a few apples in my purse for myself or my boys if we get hungry. Even though I never actually crave an apple I find that they are not only very filling, but extremely hydrating as well. If we are out and about for awhile I know that it can help with hunger pains or dehydration if needed and they are just SO easy to grab n' go!!
Just exactly WHY are they so good for you?
Apples are rich sources of phenols and other flavonoids, which act as powerful antioxidants. The phytonutrients in apples can help regulate blood sugar as well. Apples ranks as a good source of fiber, in fact the particular type of fiber found in an apple (combined with the other apple nutrients) provides you with the kind of healthy benefits you would ordinarily associate with much higher amounts of dietary fiber. This means that apples are important in the prevention of heart disease.
However, it is only an apple in it's natural state that are good for you. Apple juice, applesauce, or supplements trying to mimic the benefits of an apple are NOT going to prove beneficial. First of all, none of these items satisfy hunger as well as a whole apple and the juice and sauce have additional sugars, not to mention processed chemicals which supplements also contain.
Interestingly enough when healthy adults consume one medium-sized apple approximately 15 minutes before a meal, their caloric intake at that meal decreases by an average of 15%. Meals in this study averaged 1,240 calories, a reduction of 15% meant a reduction of 186 calories, or about 60 more calories than contained in a medium apple!
In addition, health benefits of apples may stem from their impact on bacteria in the digestive tract. In studies on laboratory animals, intake of apples is now known to significantly alter amounts of two bacteria (Clostridiales and Bacteriodes) in the large intestine. As a result of these bacterial changes, metabolism in the large intestine is also changed, and many of these changes appear to provide health benefits. For example, due to bacterial changes in the large intestine, there appears to be more fuel available to the large intestine cells (in the form of butyric acid) after apple is consumed. In other words... Apples are GOOD for your GUT!!
So, the saying "An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away" holds true!!