You know that saying ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away'? Well, there is a reason for it, actually there's LOADS of reasons you'd want to include this lovely fruit in your diet.

It's probably my kids ‘go-to' fruit of choice (as long as mummy has chopped it up, heaven forbid they'd have to eat it properly haha!) –and they are easily portable too. I usually eat them as they come, add them to green smoothies and use them to make gorgeous apple sauce to go with pork dishes.

Did you know: there are over 7,500 varieties worldwide (!) At one apple a day that would take you 21 years to get through them all – anyone up for the challenge?! ;-)

Did you know: Apples ripen 10 times faster when left out in the fruit bowl rather than put in the refrigerator – they are eaten too fast in my house for that to be a problem but worth knowing!

Did you know: Two-thirds of the fibre and lots of antioxidants in apples are found in the peel, so walk away from that peeler!

Did you know: Each year the world produces more than 40 million metric tonnes of apples – that's the same amount of food wasted by US households, retailers and food services (!)

Did you know: Apples are rich in fibre, complex carbohydrates, vitamins A, B, C and E, organic acids, mineral salts, boron and tannins. All these properties contribute to its fantastic health benefits. 



NUTRITIONAL ANALYSIS:
Apple composition (medium apple 182g)

Protein – 0g
Carbohydrates – 25g
Of which sugars 19g
Of which fibre 4g
Total fat – 0g
Vitamin C – 14% Recommend Daily Allowance (RDA)
Energy – 95 kcal

Below are 10 reasons why you should definitely make sure this fruit is always available in the fruit bowl (or fridge, ha):

1. REDUCES CHOLESTEROL LEVELS
Eating two or three apples a day for several months has been shown to be effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels. A partial explanation for this is that the pectin absorbs the biliary slats in the intestine, one of the basic ingredients from which the body makes cholesterol.

2. COMBATS CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES
Because of their richness in flavonoids, particularly quercetin, apples help prevent the deposit of cholesterol within the arteries and their subsequent narrowing. Flavonoids also inhibit the tendency of the platelets in the blood to form clots. Eating apples regularly prevents narrowing of the coronary arteries, which leads to heart attacks.

3. GOOD FOR DIABETICS
Diabetics are able to tolerate apples: they contain pectin, which regulates the release of sugars, allowing them into the bloodstream slowly and progressively.

4. LOWERS BLOOD PRESSURE
Studies conducted in Japan, where the normal diet contains a lot of salt, have shown that those who regularly eat apples have lower blood pressure than the rest of the country. Apples contain no sodium and their potassium content has a hypertensive effect.

5. DIARRHOEA 
A diet based exclusively on apples is effective in treating and preventing any type of diarrhoea. The pectin in apples acts as a sponge that absorbs and eliminates the toxins produced by the bacteria that causes diarrhoea.

6. PREVENTS CONSTIPATION
Apples regulate intestinal function and correct constipation. Eating one or two apples on an empty stomach in the morning helps overcome a condition called intestinal hypotony, which is the most common cause of constipation.

7. COLON CANCER
Studies in Japan using lab animals show that apple pectin is capable of preventing the growth of cancerous tumours of the colon. Abundant apple consumption is recommended to people with high risk of developing colon cancer.

8. PREVENTS GALL STONES
Studies conducted at the University of Toulouse revealed that apples increase the production of bile in the liver which decongests it and reduces the formation of gall stones. They make the bile more fluid and prevent the formation of solid deposits.

9. PREVENTS OSTEOPOROSIS
Osteoporosis is a degenerative condition where the bones become fragile and brittle. Apples are rich in boron, the mineral that facilitates the assimilation of calcium and magnesium. Consuming apples can reduce your chances of developing this condition.

10. LUNG HEALTH
A 2013 study revealed that apples are effective at reducing the inflammation of the lungs caused by various respiratory diseases. This is because of their high tannin and flavonoid content.

This versatile fruit has many other over-arching benefits including skin health, weight reduction and bowel health – so crack on and get some ;-)

If you need a little inspiration, here's a few apple-friendly recipes for you: