Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help You Lose Weight?

If you’re looking for ways to maintain your health, you’ve probably done some online research. And odds are good that you’ve run across articles on the health benefits of apple cider vinegar. But did you know that new evidence suggests apple cider vinegar for weight loss might also be a good idea?

The idea that something you have in your pantry right now might play a role in losing weight is exciting, isn’t it? Here’s a look at how apple cider vinegar, or ACV, could help you drop a few pounds – as well as some of its other potential benefits.

How It’s Made?

Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss | Probiotic America
Acetification of Vinegar in a Schützenbach Barrel, 1875

The fermentation process is key when it comes to making the apple cider vinegar you see at your local grocery or health food store. It’s made by crushing or cutting apples and combining them with yeast. The yeast converts the sugar in the apples to alcohol. Bacteria are then added to convert the alcohol to acetic acid.1

Acetic acid is one of the main reasons that people recommend apple cider vinegar for weight loss.2 Here are some of the ways it works:

Reducing Body Fat

A lot more human research needs to be performed on whether apple cider vinegar for weight loss is a good idea. But the early results show promise.

For example, there is some evidence to suggest that acetic acid helps with weight loss by reducing body fat.

According to one study, more than 150 people received either 15 milliliters (ml) of apple cider vinegar, 30 ml of the liquid or a placebo daily for three months. The participants who consumed apple cider vinegar had less abdominal fat and lower body weight than those who drank the placebo.3

Increasing the Sense of Fullness

Another way that apple cider vinegar could help with weight loss is by making you feel fuller. One study included a group of people given bread soaked in apple cider vinegar. The other group received regular bread. According to the results, the participants who ate the vinegar-soaked bread reported feeling fuller than the other group.4

Other Health Benefits of ACV

Additional research suggests that apple cider vinegar may offer other types of health benefits. Here are just a few of them:

Blood Sugar Maintenance

People suffering from health conditions related to increased blood sugar levels, according to one study, had lower levels when they consumed apple cider vinegar along with a high-protein snack shortly before going to bed.5

Potential PCOS Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar For Weight Loss | Probiotic AmericaApple cider vinegar has been shown to help reduce symptoms in women suffering from a condition known as polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS. This is a hormonal disorder characterized by increased levels of the male hormone androgen, as well as irregular menstrual periods.6

According to one study, women suffering from PCOS saw an improvement in their symptoms after consuming apple cider vinegar daily for 110 days.7 There is also evidence that massaging the liquid into stretch marks after pregnancy could help to reduce both their appearance and their size.8

Anti-Microbial Properties

Research shows that apple cider vinegar is effective in killing two kinds of harmful microbes known as Candida albicans and Enterococcus faecalis.9 Another study showed that the liquid also kills the dangerous E. coli bacterium.10 E. coli can cause serious symptoms, and it can potentially cause kidney failure in older adults and children.11

Reducing Bad Cholesterol

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is known as “bad” cholesterol because it accumulates in the arteries and increases the risk of developing cardiovascular problems.12 There is evidence that apple cider vinegar may play a role in reducing the levels of LDL in people who have high cholesterol readings.13

Diarrhea Relief

The pectin found in apple cider vinegar, according to research, helps to support the beneficial bacteria found in the “gut” or gastrointestinal tract. As a result, it may help to reduce the occurrence of diarrhea in people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome.14

Skin Health

Probiotic Skin Care | Probiotic AmericaApple cider vinegar contains several organic acids that have been shown to kill Propionibacterium acnes (P. acnes) bacteria.

P. acnes has been associated with the development of acne.15

The Bottom Line

Is apple cider vinegar a “miracle” weight loss product? No, but ACV is linked to weight loss, and other health benefits. Combined with a healthy diet and exercise, ACV may be helpful in the battle of the bulge.

That being said, ACV is powerful, so always dilute it before you take it. And, if you’re not sure whether you should incorporate it into your daily health routine, check with your doctor first.

 

Learn more about weight loss:
12 Awesome Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus (including weight loss!)
Want Weight Loss? Drink More Water (+ healthy soda recipe)
Why Psyllium Husk is a Powerful Weight Loss Helper

Sources
1.www.mdpi.com/2076-2607/5/3/39/pdf
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24781306
3.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1271/bbb.90231
4.https://www.nature.com/articles/1602197
5.http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/30/11/2814.full
6.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/pcos/symptoms-causes/syc-20353439
7.https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/tjem/230/1/230_17/_article
8.Najafi,S. Avicenna Journal of Phytomedicine.2015 Supplement, Vol. 5, p110-111. 2p.
9.http://www.speronline.com/japer/Articlefile/c/24_JAPER_47_2017_20171031_V1.pdf
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29379012
11.https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/e-coli/symptoms-causes/syc-20372058
12.https://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/HDLLDLTriglycerides/HDL-Good-LDL-Bad-Cholesterol-and-Triglycerides_UCM_305561_Article.jsp
13.http://www.lifesciencesite.com/lsj/life0904/360_10755life0904_2431_2440.pdf
14.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25809332
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24265031

The Dirty Dozen List: Foods You Should Buy Organic

These days, more and more people are claiming you should only buy organic produce. In a world overrun with chronic disease, people are naturally panicked about the potential consequences of coming into contact with toxic substances.

But is it worth listening to the organic debate? Organic fruits and vegetables can certainly impact your grocery bill, and when you’re already on a super tight budget, you start to question, “So is it really such a big deal?”

Yes, and no.

It’s true — pesticides truly appear to be a high-risk substance. And, agriculture continues to use huge quantities of those pesticides. And, studies continue to show that pesticides are associated with greater health risks.1

But it’s not all bad news for those who hope to keep their grocery bills low. There are some foods that contain much higher levels of pesticide exposure than others, so you can get selective with your shopping – rather than going 100 percent organic.

Testing The Food That You Eat

The Environmental Working Group (EWG) is a nonprofit organization of scientists, researchers, and policymakers that studies pesticides and chemicals, and their impact on the environment. According to the EWG, almost 70 percent of produce tested is contaminated with pesticide residue.

Dirty Dozen | Probiotic America

As for the pesticides themselves, there’s more than one bad guy. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) found almost 180 different types of pesticides on the food that it tested.2

But you just have to wash your fruits and veggies, right?

In USDA tests, pesticides remained on most produce after they were washed with high power water sprays – and even after they were peeled.3

So, back in 2004, the Environmental Working Group created a list of what it calls “The Dirty Dozen” – twelve foods that have tested positive for many different pesticide residues. The EWG says these foods contain much higher concentrations of pesticides than any other produce.

These are the foods that you should definitely buy organic. In fact, doing so may reduce the amount of toxins you consume by as much as 80 percent.4

What Makes The EWG Dirty Dozen List?

The EWG updates it’s Dirty Dozen List annually. The group’s current list recommends that you buy organic versions of the following fruits and vegetables5:

    • Strawberries
    • Spinach
    • Nectarines
    • Apples
    • PeachesDirty Dozen | Probiotic America
    • Pears
    • Cherries
    • Grapes
    • Celery
    • Tomatoes
    • Sweet bell peppers
    • Potatoes

Why Do Some Products Absorb More Pesticides?

Some fruits and veggies have much thicker, impermeable skins – which gives them better protection against pesticides. These include pineapple, cantaloupe, or mangoes.

Berries, on the other hand, barely stand a chance. Add in the fact that some pesticides are absorbed into the fruit – to protect the juicy inside from pests – and you’ve got a potentially toxic food.6

Sounds bleak, right? Well, there is some good news. While the “Dirty Dozen” gets a lot of attention, the EWG also compiles an annual “Clean 15” list.

So …

What Is the “Clean 15”?

The EWG’s annual “Clean 15” list offers up fifteen types of produce that are the least likely to be contaminated by pesticides. The current “Clean 15 List” includes7:

    • Sweet Corn*
    • Avocados
    • Pineapples
    • Cabbage
    • Onions
    • Sweet peas frozen
    • Papayas*
    • AsparagusDirty Dozen | Probiotic America
    • Mangos
    • Eggplant
    • Honeydew Melon
    • Kiwi
    • Cantaloupe
    • Cauliflower
    • Grapefruit

     

    *Sweet corn and papaya are marked here because some sold in the U.S. are produced from genetically modified seeds. If that’s a concern to you, consider avoiding them, or buying them non-GMO/organic.

    Protecting Your Health Through Knowledge

    If you’ve got serious concerns about your health when it comes to eating foods that may be laden with pesticides and pesticide residue, then you must arm yourself with knowledge.

    The best thing you can do is to take control of your own body and health – keep abreast of all the latest developments in nutrition and know which foods are on the “Dirty Dozen” list (and which foods are of lesser concern).

    To read more about the EWG Dirty Dozen list, the Clean 15, and other tips, it really is worth checking out the EWG website at www.ewg.org

     

    Learn More:
    Why You Need Zinc In Your Diet (And The Best Food Sources!)
    Eat Your Way to 100: 4 Longevity-Boosting Superfoods to Try Now
    Quick and Healthy On The Go Veggie Bowl Recipe

    Sources
    1.http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.3322/caac.21170/full
    2.https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php#.Wk54_VQ-fJI
    3.https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/well/eat/do-pesticides-get-into-the-flesh-of-fruits-and-vegetables.html
    4.http://www.pbs.org/wnet/need-to-know/health/the-dirty-dozen-and-clean-15-of-produce/616/=
    5.https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/dirty_dozen_list.php
    6.http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/06/01/dirty.dozen.produce.pesticide/index.html
    7.https://www.ewg.org/foodnews/clean_fifteen_list.php

7 Amazing Health Benefits of Sauerkraut (And a DIY Recipe!)

Sauerkraut has been a staple of the European diet for thousands of years. While most people in the U.S. probably know it as a great addition to a hot dog or a Reuben sandwich, this fermented food is so much more. There’s actually a lot of health benefits of sauerkraut.

Here are just a few of the reasons why you might want to think about getting more sauerkraut into your dietary routine:

Probiotics and the Fermentation Process

The fermentation process is key to unlocking the health benefits of sauerkraut. Turns out, fermented food is preserved in a way that changes its chemical structure, producing beneficial bacteria known as probiotics.1

Now, you might not find the idea of willingly ingesting bacteria that appetizing. After all, bacteria are supposed to be bad for you and cause diseases, right?

But, your body is filled with trillions of bacteria. And while many of them are bad for you, many more are actually good for you. These beneficial bacteria help to offset the bad ones, helping keep your digestive system working normally. That’s why probiotics are so important.2

Benefits of Sauerkraut | Probiotic AmericaThe fermentation process has been used for thousands of years. It was key to preserving vegetables before the advent of refrigerators – even before canning. Fermented food undergoes substantial changes.3

Now, the type of fermentation that creates probiotic bacteria is known as lactic acid fermentation.

The lactic acid created during the fermentation process helps to keep harmful bacteria from forming.4

The probiotics found in fermented foods like sauerkraut can greatly lower the risk of suffering from several different types of health problems. These include digestive problems such as –

  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Colitis
  • Obesity
  • Immune system disorders.5

A Nutritional Powerhouse

Sauerkraut is packed with nutrients – and it’s very low in calories. Just a one-cup serving contains only 27 calories. It also delivers 4 grams of fiber and a substantial amount of vitamin K (23 percent).6

Here are some of the amazing health benefits that have been associated with this humble dish made from fermented cabbage.

1. Immune System Support

The probiotics in sauerkraut play a role in helping maintain the health of the immune systems. They do so by helping prevent autoimmune reactions. These occur when the immune system mistakes healthy cells for dangerous invaders and attacks them.7

Probiotics have been shown to help the body fight infections. They can also help replenish the body’s supply of good bacteria after you take antibiotics.8

2. Cardiovascular Health

The fiber found in sauerkraut may help reduce levels of cholesterol in the blood. This, in turn, will help support the health of the cardiovascular system.9 There is evidence that probiotics can support cardiovascular health by lowering blood pressure.10

There are two studies that show vitamin K can help reduce the risk of dying from heart disease. One showed that people who regularly ate foods rich in the vitamin were 57 (such as sauerkraut) percent less likely to die from the condition than people who didn’t have a significant vitamin K intake.11

3. Stronger Bones

Benefits of Sauerkraut | Probiotic America

The benefits of sauerkraut extend to keeping your bones strong, thanks to its high vitamin K content. Vitamin K not only helps support heart health, it also helps to promote improved bone health.

In one study, women who took supplements containing the vitamin saw a slower rate of bone density loss than those who did not.12 There is also evidence that vitamin K can help substantially reduce the chances of suffering a hip or spine fracture.13

4. Brain Health

Probiotics might even help your brain function better. Studies show that the bacteria in your “gut,” or gastrointestinal tract, send messages to the brain that help determine the way it perceives your environment.14

Sauerkraut and other fermented foods that are rich in probiotics help make sure there are plenty of good bacteria in the gut. Research indicates that a good supply of beneficial bacteria in the gut can help lower anxiety.15

5. Weight Loss

Because sauerkraut is low in calories and high in fiber, it can help you feel more satiated, or full, for a longer period of time. And a high-fiber diet helps lower the number of calories you take in each day.16

There is also evidence that probiotics can help lower the amount of fat that you absorb through the foods you eat.17 In one study, one group of participants was overfed on purpose while receiving probiotics. The other group also overate but received a placebo. According to the results, the group that took probiotics gained half the body fat of the participants in the placebo group.18

6. Better Digestion

Probiotics can also help replenish the body’s supply of good bacteria after you take antibiotics.19 This is important in regard to digestive health because antibiotic use can sometimes result in a condition known as antibiotic-associated diarrhea, or AAD.

AAD occurs because antibiotics not only kill harmful bacteria but good ones as well. As a result, there are not enough beneficial bacteria to balance out the harmful ones that survive the antibiotic regimen. This, in turn, can lead to stomach problems.20

But probiotics can help with other digestive issues as well. They can, for example, help reduce the symptoms associated with problems such as irritable bowel disease.21

7. Antioxidant Properties

The fermentation process, when used in making sauerkraut, produces lactic acid, which has antioxidant properties.22 Antioxidants are important because they help protect the body from the effects of oxidization.

In particular, they inhibit the development of free radicals. These are molecules that are missing an electron and scour the body looking to find it. Free radicals take electrons from cells. This, in turn, can lead to severe tissue damage.23

Recipe: Making Your Own Sauerkraut

Benefits of Sauerkraut | Probiotic AmericaYou can buy sauerkraut at just about any grocery store, of course. But if you’re the adventurous type and want to learn more about the fermentation process you can easily make it yourself at home. Here’s how.

1. Pour about 10 cups of shredded cabbage in a plastic or ceramic bowl with a teaspoon of salt. Release the juices of the cabbage by stirring thoroughly. The bowl can’t be metallic because of the way the metal will react with the salt.

2. Add a cup of water, a teaspoon of pickling salt, 10 juniper berries, and a teaspoon each of caraway seeds and yellow mustard seeds. Mix thoroughly.

3. Put the mixture into a sterilized canning jar. Then pack the mixture using a wooden spoon.

4. Next, pour some water mixed with pickling salt (one teaspoon of salt for each cup of water) into the jar. Pour enough to fill the jar, leaving ¼ inch of space under the lid.

5. Place the jar in an area between 65 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit for two-and-a-half to three weeks. You’ll notice the contents will start to bubble after a few days, but this is normal. It’s a sign that the fermentation process is working.

6. Once the bubbling stops add some more of the pickling salt/water mix if the level of the sauerkraut has gone below the rim of the jar.

7. You’ll probably see a film at the top. Scrape them off. The sauerkraut will then be ready to eat. Keep the jar in the refrigerator until all the sauerkraut is gone.24

The Bottom Line

As you can see, the fermented benefits of sauerkraut are incredibly far-reaching. But before you start making it a part of your dietary regimen, talk to your doctor first to make sure he or she agrees that it will be right for you.

Learn More:
12 Awesome Benefits of Lactobacillus Acidophilus
Probiotic Skincare: A New Frontier in the Pursuit of Youthful Skin
NEWS: Probiotics May Provide Help with Allergies


Sources
1.http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/73/2/374s.full
2.https://nccih.nih.gov/health/probiotics/introduction.htm
3.https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/everything-you-always-wanted-to-know-about-fermented-foods
4.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780123739445001516
5.https://www.medicinenet.com/probiotics/article.htm
6.http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2614/2
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19584499
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16696665
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21776465
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25047574
11.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15514282
12.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23525894
13.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16801507
14.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3904694
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23497650
16.http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0924224414002386
17.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25884980
18.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26466123
19.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16696665
20.http://www.clevelandclinicmeded.com/medicalpubs/diseasemanagement/gastroenterology/antibiotic-associated-diarrhea
21.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19220890
22.http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/08905436.2012.755694
23.https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2011/10/antioxidants-explained-why-these-compounds-are-so-important/247311
24.https://www.thespruce.com/homemade-german-sauerkraut-1447249

9 Easy Solutions to Get Rid of Constipation

If you’ve ever had to deal with the annoyance of constipation, you’re far from alone. It’s so common, in fact, that an estimated one in five people in the United States has to deal with it at one time or another.1 It can lead to serious discomfort and other symptoms, including bloating and pain.

Thankfully, though, there are many remedies designed to help eliminate constipation, without having to get medical help. Here are just a few ways to finally find that constipation relief you’ve been looking for:

Drink More Water

Constipation | Probiotic AmericaNot getting enough water can lead to dehydration. And dehydration is a contributing factor to constipation.2 If you’re all of a sudden finding it difficult – if not impossible – to pass stool, a lack of water might be the culprit.

There is some research that suggests sparkling water might be a more effective remedy than plain tap water. This seems to especially be the case for people who have chronic constipation or irritable bowel syndrome.3

Up Your Fiber Intake

Increasing your consumption of high-fiber foods may not only help increase the consistency of your stool, it might also make it easier to pass through your colon, so that you can have a successful bowel movement.4 According to the results of one study, nearly 80 percent of people suffering from chronic constipation may be able to benefit from adding fiber.5

Exercise Regularly

Exercising on a regular basis is obviously good for your overall health. And there is also evidence it could reduce some of the symptoms associated with constipation.6 Before you start a new exercise regimen, however, talk to your doctor first, to make sure it will be completely safe.

Drink More Coffee

Coffee stimulates the muscles of the digestive tract, helping to move stool through the colon.7 Research shows that caffeinated coffee has a similar effect on the digestive system as eating a meal. According to the results of one study, this effect is 23 percent stronger than drinking decaf and a whopping 60 percent stronger than drinking water.8 So, a cup of morning Joe might just go a long way toward helping you find constipation relief.

Laxatives

Some people turn to over-the-counter or herbal laxatives when trying to find constipation relief. Of course, it is always best to consult with a medical professional before trying a laxative — there may be underlying medical conditions that need attention. But if your doctor gives you the go-ahead, try gentler herbal laxatives first.

Constipation | Probiotic AmericaMany herbal laxatives contain glycosides. These are compounds found in plants that help stimulate the nerves in the gastrointestinal tract, or “gut.” This stimulation may help you achieve a bowel movement.9,10

Talk to your doctor about what types of laxatives may be best for you. They may recommend laxatives with bulking agents to help increase the amount of water in your stool, or your doctor might suggest a stool softener. You may even be better off trying osmotic laxatives which work by pulling water into the digestive tract from nearby tissues. Just make sure you get your doctor’s permission before trying any sort of laxative.11

Change Your Diet

There are certain foods you should avoid when you’re constipated. These are typically foods that have little or no fiber, such as potato chips, meat, ice cream, some frozen or microwave dinners, and hot dogs.12 There are some instances where dairy products could play a role in causing constipation.13

If your doctor suggests that you try cutting back on dairy, just make sure you eat other foods that are high in calcium. You don’t want to run the risk of not getting enough of this vital mineral.

Eat Probiotic Foods

Constipation | Probiotic AmericaOne way in which altering your diet might help bring constipation relief is to eat more foods that are high in probiotics. You might not think willingly consuming bacteria is a good idea, but probiotics are incredibly beneficial bacteria that help support the health of the gut and colon.

You have trillions of microbes in your body. If the bad microbes outnumber the good, that can make you susceptible to many types of digestive problems, including constipation.14

There are many foods that are rich in probiotics. These include yogurt, sauerkraut, tempeh, and sourdough bread. The good bacteria in these products help to provide constipation relief by stimulating bowel movements.15 You can also find many types of probiotic supplements in capsule form.

Don’t Forget Prebiotics

As important as probiotics are in helping to ensure gut health, prebiotics are just as vital. Prebiotics are, in a nutshell, fibers that the human body can’t digest. These substances help to feed the good bacteria in your digestive system, so they can thrive. You can find them in foods such as bananas, onions, and garlic.16 Prebiotics have not only been shown to be an effective stool softener, they may also help increase bowel movement frequency.17,18

Prunes

Prunes, or dried plums, have long been associated with constipation relief. They not only contain fiber, but also sorbitol, which is a natural laxative.19,20

Research shows that consuming about seven medium-sized prunes once a day can be an effective way to get over your constipation symptoms. As with any dietary change, get medical clearance before you start eating prunes, and if you’re unsure about the effects, start slowly, with just 1-2 prunes… all 7 may be too much.21

When to See a Doctor About Constipation

As frustrating as this condition can be, constipation is usually not serious. It will typically subside within a few days. However, there are some instances where symptoms become so severe that medical help is necessary. Here are some signs that you will need to see a doctor:

· There is blood in your stool, or your stools are black.
· You have anemia, or a lack of iron in your blood.
· You unexpectedly lose weight.
· Your symptoms last for three weeks or more.
· You experience severe stomach pain when passing stool.22

The Final Word

Hopefully, you’ll find constipation relief from one of the remedies suggested above. But if you don’t, and your symptoms persist for an extended period of time, don’t hesitate to see a doctor. They will need to rule out other potential health problems and then determine the best course of action to help you feel better.

 

For more digestion tips, keep reading here:
Best Probiotic Foods to Improve Your Gut Health
Want a Healthy Belly, Both Inside and Out? Try these 4 Foods
Constipated? Here are 5 Ways To Find Relief


Sources
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15089911
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16028566
3.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12352219
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23326148
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27170558
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3206558
7.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2338272
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9581985
9.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8234429
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26171992
11.https://www.medicinenet.com/laxatives_for_constipation/article.htm
12.https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/constipation/eating-diet-nutrition
13.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3533146/
14.https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0092867412001043
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4951383/
16.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355/
17.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2607002
18.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26232505
19.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11401245
20.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24090144
21.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21323688
22.http://www.gastro.org/info_for_patients/constipation-103-when-to-call-your-doctor

An Apple A Day: Why This Simple Fruit Shouldn’t Be Overlooked

The saying, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” has been around for centuries – and it turns out, it’s more than just an old wives tale. There are many health benefits of apples – from improving the brain to the skin.

Here are just a few reasons why you should make apples a part of your regular dietary regimen — maybe not daily, due to their high sugar content, but at least weekly.

How Apples Benefit the Body

Research indicates that one of the antioxidants in apples, known as quercetin, might play a role in helping to improve neurological health. One study showed it may help to prevent the death of brain cells due to oxidation. This, in turn, could substantially reduce the risk of many kinds of neurodegenerative problems.1

Another study involving more than 9,000 people showed that those who ate apples most often had a lower risk of suffering a stroke.2 Apples may also lower the levels of low-density lipoprotein, or “bad” cholesterol in the blood.

Researchers found that women who ate apples each day for six months saw a more than 20 percent reduction in bad cholesterol. They also saw a 4 percent increase in high-density lipoprotein, or “good” cholesterol, which can lower the chances of developing heart disease.3

Apples for Weight Loss?

Apples might also play a role in helping with weight loss, according to one study. According to the results, participants who ate apple slices consumed 200 fewer calories on average per meal than those who had apple juice, applesauce, or no apples. They also experienced greater feelings of fullness.4

In another study, a group of 50 obese women ate either apples or oatmeal cookies as part of their daily routine for 10 weeks. Both the apples and cookies were similar in fiber content and calories.

Researchers found that the women who ate apples not only lost two more pounds on average, but they also consumed fewer overall calories. The reason, they believe, is that apples provided a greater sense of fullness, or satiety, than the cookies.5

Apples: Gut Friendly?

Apples have also been shown to promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the “gut,” or gastrointestinal tract. Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that is a prebiotic. The human body can’t digest this type of fiber – but the good bacteria in our gut can. The bacteria use prebiotics as food. This gives them the energy to balance out the bad microbes in the gut, and it helps our digestive system work properly.6

Benefits of Apples | Probiotic America

The benefits of apples are stretched even further when they’re fermented.  Fermented apples can be turned into apple cider vinegar, and vinegar produces acetic acid. This helps to produce beneficial bacteria. Acetic acid also plays a role in helping keep your blood sugar under control after you eat a meal.7

Other Apple Benefits

Could the antioxidants in apples help improve breathing? A study involving nearly 70,000 women showed that those who regularly ate apples had a lower risk of developing certain breathing problems.8

The benefits of apples have also been associated with improved bone health. One of the indicators of overall bone health is increased bone density.

Research shows that the antioxidants in apples may help increase bone density. Calcium is also key to bone health, and one medium-sized apple (approximately 3-inches in diameter) contains 11 mg of this important mineral.9

One study was performed on four groups of women to determine how apple consumption affects the body’s supply of calcium. According to the results, the women who consumed apples had more calcium in their blood than those who didn’t have any kind of apple products.10

Hair Benefits of Apples

Many of the vitamins and minerals in apples help promote the health of your hair. For example, vitamin E helps blood circulate properly in the scalp – which may help hair grow.11 Vitamin B6, also found in apples, helps to produce a hormone known as melanin. This may help keep hair from aging prematurely.12 Procyanidin, a compound found in apples, may also help promote hair growth.13

Apple cider vinegar also has properties that could also boost your hair’s health. Diluted apple cider vinegar might, for instance, help reduce dandruff.14

Skin Benefits of Apples

The vitamin C in apples may also help your skin. The vitamin C in apples helps promote the development of collagen – which helps to keep the skin firm. Skin lacking enough collagen is more prone to wrinkling.1516

Benefits of Apples | Probiotic AmericaApples also contain copper, a mineral that also helps to promote healthy skin. Copper plays a key role in producing melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. But melanin also helps to protect the skin from the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays.17

Another important vitamin for skin health found in apples is vitamin A. It helps ensure that cells reproduce the way they should. It also helps keep the skin from developing signs of aging, such as wrinkles and fine lines. Vitamin A is often used in topical form to help people suffering from severe cases of acne.18

Different Types of Apples

These are some of the most common types of apples you’ll find at most supermarkets and at farmers markets.

Braeburn

This apple has red and pink coloring and a sweet, tart taste. It is great for making a cobbler or apple pie.

Honeycrisp

The honeycrisp usually has a bit of green mixed in with red. This type of apple will usually have a longer shelf life than most of its counterparts.19 It also works very well in an apple pie.

Fuji

Fuji apples are typically larger and are usually more yellowish in color than other varieties. They are especially hearty, with a shelf life of as long as six months when refrigerated.20 Fuji apples are especially good for sprinkling into a salad. They’re also very juicy, making them a good choice for making apple cider.

Gala

The gala apple is typically yellow in color and has red stripes. It’s not as sweet as other varieties, but it does feature a hint of vanilla taste.

Granny Smith

The granny smith apple is known for its green coloring and tart taste. It’s another good choice for a salad, since it doesn’t brown as fast as other types once you cut it.21

Benefits of Apples | Probiotic America

A Final Word

As you can see, apples not only taste great – they also help deliver substantial health benefits, including for your hair and skin. They’re loaded with fiber and antioxidants, and they contain other beneficial minerals and vitamins that can help keep your body strong. The apple is a mighty nutritional powerhouse – the benefits of apples should not be overlooked!

Want more dietary tips, keep reading here:
How To Make Low-Sugar Apple Crisps
9 Gut Friendly Foods That Supercharge Your Health
Sapodilla: The Strange Fruit With Incredible Health Benefits


Sources
1.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17929310
2.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10822289
3.https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/04/110412131923.htm
4.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664987
5.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18439712
6.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3705355
7.https://health.usnews.com/wellness/food/articles/2017-01-18/the-health-benefits-of-vinegar
8.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16396945
9.https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2122
10.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15105040
11.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3819075
12.http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-B6
13.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11406858
14.http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/18/health/apple-cider-vinegar-uses/index.html
15.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1720597
16.https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/collagen#section2
17.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4556990
18.http://www.umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/vitamin-a-retinol
19.http://www.tctimes.com/news/honeycrisp-apples-so-good-but-so-expensive/article_8e3d35ec-35d3-11e4-8f05-0019bb2963f4.html
20.https://www.gardenguides.com/124226-honey-crisp-vs-fuji-apples.html
21.https://www.finechoicefoods.com/2013/10/apples-to-apples-a-comparison-taste-test