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4 Benefits of Apples That You Might Not Know About

4 Benefits of Apples That You Might Not Know About

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” — a proverb, dating from the 19th century, which turns out to be true!

The benefits of apple on the human body are beyond all belief: they improve the memory, lower the risk of heart attacks, and may even be life-extending.

Nutritional Value Of Apples

 

Nutrition-Apples

    Source: http://caloriecount.about.com/calories-apple-i9003

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    The nutritional facts seem a bit poor at first glance: no fats, no proteins, a few carbohydrates—not a lot of substance. Nevertheless, apples contain a fairly high amount of Vitamins; Vitamin C in particular. So what’s the secret?

    Phytochemicals are the key benefits within them: they’re organic compounds found in plants that have biological effects, but no nutritional value. Phytochemicals have’t yet been investigated in depth, but they they are known to be used for their general metabolic and anti-inflammatory properties.

    #1 Benefit: Live Longer

    According to a study by the American Chemical Society in 2011, researchers were able to observe life-extending effects of apple-eating test animals by 10 %. There is also evidence, that the chemical compound responsible preserves the motor abilities of test animals.

    Although the research is currently being conducted on test animals, there are no objections in applying the general findings on human beings, as in all clinical studies.

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    #2 Benefit: Memory-Improving

    According to a study by the University of Massachusetts Lowell, the consumption of apples increases the production and amount of the neurotransmitter called acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a hormone with various tasks, one of them being the modulation of neuro-plasticity, which is the brain’s ability to change and build new structures.

    Higher amounts of acetylcholine in the brain result in improved memory, and as a matter of fact, the treatment of choice for Alzheimer’s disease is to medcate with the objective of increasig the amount of acetylcholine in the brain to help slow down the mental decline of patients.

    “The findings at present study show that consumption of antioxidant-rich foods such as apples and apple juice can help reduce problems associated with memory loss.”, concludes the UML research group.

    #3 Benefit: Lower risk of Heart Attacks and Strokes

    Heart attacks, strokes and arteriosclerosis all have a couple of things in common: a) they’re bad, really bad, b) they develop often due to an excess of LDL-cholesterol (“the bad cholesterol”).

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    Guess what? Apples were able to decrease the amount of LDL-cholesterol in subjects by 23 %.

    That’s an incredible decrease: in therapy with patients suffering from high-cholesterol a decrease by 23 % is highly desirable through medication. Standard medications lower the LDL-cholesterol level by 18-50 %, bringing along however a whole set of devastating side effects. Apples don’t.

    #4 Benefit: Lower Risk of Cancer

    According to a study conducted in Hawaii, there is a correlation between the consumption of apples and the risk of suffering from lung cancer in both genders: the higher the intake of apples, the lower the risk of lung cancer. As a matter of fact the subject group with the highest intake could register an unbelievable decrease of risk by 40-50 %.

    This might be based on the high antioxidant activity in apples that deactivate certain enzymes (chemical compounds activating certain processes in the human body) that are responsible for the development of lung cancer.

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    Another study, conducted by Harvard Medical School, could only prove a 21%-decrease in lung cancer within the female subject group.

    Other Fruit, Same Effect?

    Are the mentioned effects only induced by the consumption of apples? Are there any other fruits with the same benefits on the human body?

    Yes, there are! A graphic by Cornell University illustrates the antioxidant activity in various fruits, which is primarily responsible for the above-mentioned effects.

    Antioxidant-Activity-Apple

      Memory-Improving, lowering the risks of various diseases and life-extending—not bad for a traditional fruit.

      Are apples part of your daily food intake? Share your opinions and comments below!

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      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

      How to Keep Yourself Awake at Work Without Caffeine

      Keeping yourself awake at work can be a real challenge when you’re bored, exhausted or sleep-deprived.

      But before you reach for that can of Red Bull, bottle of Mountain Dew, or pot of coffee, try these healthy remedies to stimulate your 5 different senses and help you stay awake at work:

      Sight – Visual Stimulation

      The first thing you do when you wake up is opening your eyes, so your visual stimulation is very important to keeping your energy level high.

      1. Maximize your exposure to light.

      Your body’s internal rhythm is regulated by the amount of light you receive. The greater your exposure, the more alert you will feel.

      Open the shades and let in the sunlight. Step outside or look out the window. Turn on all the artificial lights in your office or around your work space.

      2. Exercise your eyes (or give them a break).

      Roll your eyes up and down, side to side and diagonally. Rotate them clockwise and then counterclockwise. Squeeze them shut and then open them wide. Do this several times.

      Reading and sitting in front of a computer screen for long periods can lead to eye fatigue.

      Take regular breaks with deliberate blinking and looking out into the distance.

      3. Take note of your environment.

      Learn to enjoy people-watching. Observe their activities, speech, body language and interactions with others. Notice the details of building, trees and other objects around you, including their color, shape and size.

      By doing this, you’re not only relaxing your eye muscles but also calming your mind.

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      Hearing – Auditory Stimulation

      What you hear or listen to have direct effect on your brain. This is why we feel so annoyed and sometimes angry when we hear construction noise when we’re working.

      4. Engage in conversation.

      Talk to a friend or colleague. Trade funny stories. Discuss your business venture, a creative idea, the latest political scandal, or any other topic that interests you.

      Practice mindful listening to what you and the other person are saying. Tune into the tone, volume and content of the conversation.

      Learn how to practice better listening from this guide:

      Why Listen to Reply Instead of Understand Is the Key to Failure

      5. Listen to upbeat music.

      Try hip hop, rock or jazz to keep you alert. Instrumental, non-distracting music works best.

      Sing, whistle, and hum along if you can. Plug in the earphones if you must.

      Smell – Olfactory Stimulation

      If you’re feeling sleepy and suddenly smell the coffee, you’ll probably feel more energetic. This is why smell is an influential stimulation.

      6. Work your nose.

      Aroma therapists recommend essential oils of peppermint (to boost energy), rosemary (to build awareness), eucalyptus (to increase oxygen), cedarwood  (to activate your mind), and cinnamon (to improve your reaction time).

      If you don’t have essential oils on hand, you can use lotions or burning candles that provide the same scents.

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      Citrus like lemons, limes, grapefruits and oranges are also natural olfactory stimulants. Get a whiff of these citrus scents to stay awake.

      Taste – Gustatory Stimulation

      If you want an energetic day at work, you can’t let your tongue feeling plain and flavorless.

      7. Have a good breakfast.

      Start off with the most important meal of the day.

      Think fresh, light and healthy: bran cereals, wholegrain breads, fruits, and yogurt.

      Nix the heavy stuff like sausages, greasy eggs or pancakes.

      Need some breakfasts inspirations? Check out these ideas:

      20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time

      8. Drink lots of water.

      Keep a glass or bottle of H2O near you and sip from it throughout the day. Dehydration can leave you feeling tired, sluggish and sleepy.

      So make sure you drink enough water throughout the day. Not sure how much to drink? This can help you:

      How Much Water Should You Drink Each Day (and How Much Is Too Much for You)

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      Think that you’ve been drinking too little water? Try these friendly reminders:

      3 Best Apps To Help You Drink Much More Water

      9. Eat energy-boosting snacks.

      Nuts and fruits (like bananas, apples and strawberries) are sure bets. Pairings with staying power include baby carrots with a low-fat cream cheese dip; celery sticks with peanut butter; red peppers with hummus; and plain yogurt with granola.

      Avoid carb-filled, sugary snacks that make you crash and leave you feeling tired.

      Here you can find some healthy snack ideas:

      25 Healthy Snack Recipes To Make Your Workday More Productive

      Touch – Tactile Stimulation

      Last but not least, your sense of touch will make you physically feel more energetic and less stressful.

      10. Splash cold water on your face.

      Do this in the morning, during bathroom breaks and in the afternoon. Being exposed to cold water pushes your body to adjust and regulate its internal temperature, which in turn keeps you alert.

      This works the same as you take a cold shower to increase mood and alertness. Take a look at this article to learn more about it:

      5 Surprising Benefits of Cold Showers

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      11. Use acupressure.

      Apply pressure to, massage, or tap on the stimulation points of your body. These include the top of your head, the back of your neck, the back of your hand (between the thumb and index finger), just below the knee and your earlobes.

      Watch this video to learn about the acupressure points you can try:

      12. Get moving.

      Move away from your chair and stand, walk, run or climb the stairs. Feel the earth under your feet. Stretch and twist. Do jumping jacks, lunges, push-ups and back bends.

      And if you need to move more discreetly, wiggle your feet, bounce your knee up and down, scrunch your toes, or cross your legs.

      You can also try some simple stretches and exercises at your desk:

      Unlike addictive caffeine fixes, these remedies activate your senses, engage your attention, amp up your energy and prevent morning grogginess and afternoon slumps without the side effects or health risks.

      Pick a few ways from this list of suggestions and practice them consistently. And when you do this consistently, you’ll soon see the positive results — a more energetic and productive you at work.

      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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