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10 Health Benefits of Apples that You Should Know

Apple Trees and Barrels of ApplesWill eating an apple a day keep the doctor away? Apples are sweet, edible fruits produced by the apple tree (Malus pumila). There are over 7,500 varieties of apples; they come in red, yellow, and green. The skin is thin but sturdy, while the inner flesh is thick and juicy. It’s not surprising why apples are very popular in many parts of the world. They are both delicious and nutritious. In this post, we will enumerate 10 health benefits of apples.

Health Benefits of Apples

1. Prevent Heart Diseases

Apples help lower the risk of heart ailments. The antioxidants in apples reduce the oxidation of fats. They also neutralize fats found in blood vessels. Furthermore, the flavonoid quercetin reduces inflammation in the blood vessels, while the polyphenol epicatechin lowers blood pressure.

2. Aid in Digestion

Digestive SystemApples are rich in soluble fiber, which helps in the digestive process. Incorporating apples into your diet ensures smooth bowel movement and the prevention of constipation, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), diarrhea, and other stomach disorders. In addition, fiber stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices for a more efficient uptake of nutrients.

3. Reduce the Risk of Type 2 Diabetes

Eating whole apples (as opposed to juice) can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. In particular, women who eat at least one apple a day have a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than those who are non-apple eaters. The polyphenols present in apples stimulate insulin receptors in cells, which speeds up removal of sugar from the bloodstream, delivering it to cells for metabolism and proper organ function.

4. Boost Immune System

Apples are rich in vitamin C and antioxidants that can help boost immune function. They are also great for detoxifying the body and improving overall health.

5. Anticancer Potential

Regular consumption of at least one apple a day may reduce the risk of certain cancers, such as colon and lung cancer. Hypotheses usually point to the fruit’s high phytonutrient content, including quercetin and kaempferol, but the exact mechanism or impact on cancer needs further research.

6. Lower Bad Cholesterol

Eating apples everyday can result in a considerable decrease in bad cholesterol (LDL) and a slight increase in good cholesterol (HDL) in just three months. This is confirmed by a study performed by researchers at The Florida State University on 160 post-menopausal women.

7. Improve Bone Health

Compounds like quercetin, kaempferol, and myricetin present in apples have been associated with reducing inflammatory conditions like gout and arthritis. People suffering from rheumatism will also find apples useful because they can aid in the healing process.

8. Treat Anemia

Apples can be useful in treating anemia since they contain iron. They also ensure proper oxygenation of organ systems by increasing the number of red blood cells. This results in proper functioning of organs and enhanced blood circulation.

9. Skin Care

Antioxidants in apples fight off free radicals, which are linked to premature aging, age spots, wrinkles, and other age-related conditions. Apples increase circulation, which can help keep the skin looking young. They stimulate the replacement and repair of damaged cells. The fruit is also helpful in preventing acne.

10. Weight Loss

Apple for Weight LossThe water and fiber in this nutritious fruit increase satiety, reducing appetite and overeating. Apples speed up metabolism – calories are burned off faster, which is great news for people struggling with obesity.

Apple Side Effects

While there are numerous health benefits of apples, the fruit can also produce side effects. Take note of the following:

Poisoning – Apple seeds contain cyanide. Because cyanide is poisonous, excessive consumption of apple seeds can be toxic and dangerous. Don’t eat the seeds!

Pregnancy and breastfeeding – Expecting and breastfeeding mothers should avoid apple tea because it may harm a growing fetus or infant.

Allergy – Apples may cause an allergic reaction in some people.

Medication – Apples may interfere with certain medications. If you are taking any medicines, consult your doctor before incorporating apples into your diet.

Conclusion

Apples are good for you. This fruit contains essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Incorporating apples into your diet may lower your risk for many diseases, including diabetes and cancer. Apples also contain soluble fiber, which is good for digestive health and weight loss. So, in fact, there is truth to the old proverb that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Finding Time to Exercise Despite a Busy Schedule

We all know that exercise is very important. Yet, one common excuse for not exercising enough is “I don’t have time.” While it can be difficult to find time to exercise, that doesn’t mean that it’s okay to live a sedentary lifestyle. Exercise provides a lot of health benefits, that’s why finding time to exercise is essential.

Finding Time to Exercise

1. Get up early

Wake Up EarlyRegardless of your schedule and occupation, the fact remains that there are 24 hours in a day. Maybe all you have to do is use time differently. Try being an early bird. Get up early in the morning to fit in your workout. Sleep is super important, though, so make sure you always get enough sleep. If you are going to get up early, make sure you discipline yourself to go to bed early, too.

2. Turn off the TV

Every week, the average American spends 34 hours watching TV. Watching TV can be a big time consumer. You don’t have to miss your favorite TV shows and movies, though. Use time wisely and record your favorite shows and set a specific time to watch them. Avoid sitting on the couch or laying in bed all the time. And set aside a certain amount of time per day to exercise.

3. Have a workout partner

Exercise TogetherWorking out with a family member, friend, or special someone can be a great motivating factor. You are more likely to make time for exercise if you know that someone is waiting for you. If you don’t show up, you’re letting not only yourself down, but your partner as well. Working out together can also help when one of you is feeling tired or down. The other can then help with motivation. You can also set fitness goals together, and help each other to attain them.

4. Combine exercise and transportation

Walking to WorkSometimes, we overlook the fact that getting from point A to point B can be a good opportunity to exercise. This is becoming a trend in some cities. Here are some things you can do:

  • Bike or walk to work/school
  • Bike to the supermarket/grocery store
  • Walk or bike to the coffee shop
  • Walk to your place of worship
  • Walk over to a friend’s house

5. You don’t have to go to the gym

Going to a gym definitely has its advantages and disadvantages. A gym is equipped with various fitness equipment that will allow you to do a wide range of exercises. However, not everyone can do that on a regular basis, especially with a busy schedule. You also have to pay gym membership fees. If you have limited time and resources, why not consider doing workouts at home? For example, FITin56 is a great fitness program that you can do in the convenience of your own home.

How Often Should You Exercise?

The American Heart Association provides these minimum exercise guidelines for healthy adults aged 18 to 65:

  • Moderate intensity aerobic physical activity for a minimum of 30 minutes, 5 days per week (for example, brisk walk) or;
  • Vigorous intensity aerobic physical activity for 20 minutes, 3 days per week (for example, jogging) or;
  • A combination of moderate intensity and vigorous intensity.

Conclusion

The keys to finding time to exercise are flexibility, discipline, a regular schedule, and making fitness a way of life. Plan ahead so other to-do items don’t push exercise off your radar. Try a top quality home exercise program like FITin56. Remember, physical activity translates to a healthier you!

What is Intermittent Fasting? – Intermittent Fasting and Weight Loss

What is intermittent fasting? Fasting has been practiced throughout human history. A long time ago, fasting from time to time was more common than always eating 3 or more meals a day. This is because ancient people didn’t have groceries, supermarkets, or food easily available all year-round. Sometimes, they could not find anything to eat at all. As a result, humans learned to adapt without food for an extended period of time.

Some people practice fasting for religious reasons, but this is only within specific periods. Today, there is a different type of fasting that is becoming popular in the health and fitness community. It is called intermittent fasting. People use it to lose weight and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. In this article, you will learn more about intermittent fasting and weight loss.

What is Intermittent Fasting?

Tea and BreadIntermittent fasting (IF) is an eating pattern which cycles between periods of fasting and eating. It does not specify which foods to eat, but rather when to eat them. Fasting usually entails abstinence of food during a certain period of time.

You can say that intermittent fasting is not really a diet, but can be more accurately described as a pattern of eating. The aim of IF is to change body composition through loss of fat and to improve health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

For a certain period, intermittent fasting requires complete abstinence, or a reduced amount of food and beverages. You can drink liquids during the fast. Water, tea, coffee, and non-caloric beverages are fine. However, don’t add sugar to your coffee.

Intermittent Fasting Methods

There are different methods of intermittent fasting. All of them involve splitting the day/week into eating and fasting periods. During the fasting period, you eat very little or nothing at all. These are the most popular intermittent fasting methods:

16/8 Method – Also known as the Leangains protocol, this involves skipping breakfast. You will then restrict your daily eating period to 8 hours (for example, 11 am to 7 pm). Essentially, you’ll be fasting for 16 hours.

5:2 Diet – With this method, you consume only 20 to 25% of your regular calories for 2 days of the week. You can eat normally the other 5 days.

Alternate Day Fasting – Fast on one day, eat normally the next. Eat only 500 to 600 calories on your fast day, but you can eat normally on your off day. As the name suggests, you have to alternate days of normal eating and fasting.

By reducing your calorie intake, these methods can help you lose weight. Most people find the 16/8 method to be the simplest and easiest to stick to. It is also the most popular.

Health Benefits of Intermittent Fasting

The benefits of intermittent fasting include:

Fat Loss Can Result from Intermittent FastingFat loss – Natural sugars in food that are not immediately used for energy are stored as glycogen in the liver. Even though stored glycogen is the first fuel source your body uses, when those are gone (after 6 to 8 hours), your body turns to fat cells for energy. Eating throughout the day makes it more difficult for the body to burn fat because it doesn’t run out of stored glycogen. Intermittent fasting makes it possible to tap into fat stores.

Heightened alertness – Some people say they became more alert with intermittent fasting. It is possible that the body goes into ketosis during fasting. Ketosis provides fuel for the body and brain. In the absence of glucose, the body produces ketone bodies to feed the brain. The ketones may be the reason why people say they are more alert and focused. However, more research is needed to prove this.

An improved relationship with food – People may have different experiences when it comes to intermittent fasting and weight loss. But in general, those who tried IF noticed positive changes not only in body weight, but in their overall health as well. Intermittent fasting will change your perception of food and nutrition. Basically, you’ll be gaining control of what and how you eat. It builds self-discipline, too.

Other health benefits of intermittent fasting include:

Weight loss – Intermittent fasting can help people lose weight and belly fat.

Insulin resistance – IF can reduce insulin resistance, lowering blood sugar by 3 to 6% and fasting insulin levels by 20 to 31%, which can protect you against type 2 diabetes.

Inflammation – Some studies show that IF can reduce markers of inflammation, which cause many chronic diseases.

Heart health – IF may reduce bad cholesterol (LDL), blood sugar, blood triglycerides, and insulin resistance, which are all risk factors for heart disease.

Anti-agingAnimal studies show that fasted rats lived 36 to 83% longer.

Disadvantages of Intermittent Fasting

PizzaThis type of eating pattern would be difficult for somebody who normally eats every few hours (for example, snacks between main meals). It is also not appropriate for people with conditions that require taking food at regular intervals due to metabolic issues and medications, such as those with diabetes.

Furthermore, prolonged periods of semi-starvation and food deprivation also places one at risk of overeating when food is reintroduced. It may also foster unhealthy behaviors such as a heightened fixation on food. Because IF focuses more on timing and not on what specific foods to eat, some people may make impulsive choices like eating chips or cookies when it’s time to eat. These foods are high in calories, but low in nutritional value.

Another disadvantage of intermittent fasting is that it doesn’t involve exercise in losing weight. Moreover, with IF, there’s a possibility that the body may be burning not only fat, but also muscle. This may impact muscle strength and body shape.

People with the following conditions should avoid intermittent fasting:

• Diabetes
• Eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia nervosa
• Pregnancy, breastfeeding
• Active growth stage (adolescence)
• Use of medications that require regular food intake

What Does Research Say about Intermittent Fasting?

In animals, calorie restriction has been shown to increase lifespan and improve tolerance to metabolic stress. Although the evidence in animal studies is strong, human studies need more solid evidence to prove the benefits of intermittent fasting.

One study conducted in 2014 found that intermittent fasting can cause 3 to 8% weight loss over 3 to 24 weeks. Proponents believe that IF causes an immune response that produces positive metabolic changes (reduction in weight, fat mass, blood glucose, blood pressure, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol). However, one concern regarding intermittent fasting is that followers may overeat on non-fasting days.

A review of 40 studies showed that IF was effective for weight loss, with a loss of 7 to 11 pounds over a period of 10 weeks. It is important to note that the studies ranged in size (from 4 to 334 subjects) and duration (from 2 to 104 weeks). Different intermittent fasting methods and study designs were used, and participant characteristics also differed (lean vs. obese).

Half of the studies were controlled trials, comparing the intermittent fasting group to a comparison and/or control group (either usual lifestyle or continuous calorie restriction), while the other half only examined an intermittent fasting group.

Conclusion

Intermittent fasting is one of the most popular health and fitness trends today. People are using it to lose weight and improve their health. Some studies in animals show that it can have beneficial effects and may even help increase lifespan. However, more conclusive evidence is needed to prove the health benefits of intermittent fasting in humans. If you have questions about intermittent fasting and weight loss, consult your doctor.

Want to learn more about weight loss and healthy nutrition? Sign up to FITin56 now!

About Us

FITin56® is a revolutionary fitness program that helps anyone get fit in 56 days — and stay fit! Members get online access to workout videos, exercise videos, and a nutrition plan. Lose weight, tone, or build muscle — follow the plan that best meets your goals. Get fit and healthy in only 30 minutes per day!

FITin56® is a registered trademark of CREATIVE PRODUCTS, LLC.

Founded in 1989, CREATIVE PRODUCTS was built with the vision of providing hard to find, innovative, useful, and creative products to customers worldwide. We strive to bring our customers only the best products and services available.