An Apple A Day

You know the old saying, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." While that may not be the case, we are finding out that that simple fruit that is so easy to eat does provide a lot of health benefits. There are plenty of reasons to add apples to your diet.

"There are so many studies that show that apples actually help, specifically in the prevention of heart disease and stroke, but we've also seen an interesting study showing that people that eat apples on a regular basis can expand their lifespan by 10 percent," Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, said.

Kirkpatrick says it's best to eat apples with the skin on. She says that's where you'll find the fiber, specifically insoluble fiber that helps to keep our digestive tract moving. In the meat of the apple you'll find the cholesterol-lowering properties.

Two recent studies found eating apples may help to lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol.

A 2011 study also tied apple consumption to a reduced risk of ulcerative colitis and another study linked apples to a potentially lower risk of breast cancer. Researchers credit the high amount of cancer-fighting phytochemicals that are found in apples and other fruits and vegetables.

Kirkpatrick says the key to picking a good apple is the color.

"The more color that an apple has, typically the better it is going to be for you because that color is created by something that prevents disease," she said.

Kirkpatrick says the type of apple doesn't matter much. She says find some that you like and try to eat one every day if you can.

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