Apples are a common and popular fruit. The crisp, white fruit features red, yellow or green skin and is a surprising member of the rose family. Apples have a sweet, tart or pleasing taste. They are frequently used for cooking, baking, and eaten raw. Common varieties include tart Granny Smith, sweet Braeburn and Fuji, and milder Red Delicious.

Recent research notes that apple eaters enjoy the fruit most if it is eaten whole, rather than in a processed form. People who ate applesauce or drank apple juices reported much less satisfaction, than those who ate the entire fruit.

From a health perspective, apples are particularly good for you because their phytonutrients help you regulate blood sugar. Apple polyphenols have been shown to prevent blood sugar spikes by reducing the absorption of glucose from the digestive tract.

Apples are a good source of fiber, but provide significant health benefits usually attributed to foods with a much higher fiber content. Apples, eaten in whole food form, help reduce blood fats, which is significant for the prevention of heart disease. The combination of fiber with the phytonutrients make apples a true benefit to your cardiovascular health.

There also appears to be some interesting research regarding the potential health benefits of apples as it pertains to lung health and digestive tract bacteria. Most likely due to their anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients, apples appear to have a significant impact on asthma and lung cancer risk reduction. Apples also seem to positively change two key bacteria that fuel metabolism.

Remember to keep in mind that apples only provide you with the best health benefits when eaten in whole food form. The fiber, including both soluble and insoluble pectin, and valuable vitamin C found in apples is located primarily in the skin. Try organic varieties to avoid the risks associated with the pesticides used by commercial growers.

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