Apples are among the world’s healthiest fruits. And it doesn’t hurt that they taste delicious, too. Apples have a wide range of health benefits, thus the common adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Aside from known health benefits that include stopping diarrhea, especially in children and even fighting atherosclerosis, apples are often overlooked when it comes to their abilities in battling cancer, such as:
- Liver cancer
- Breast cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Stomach cancer
But the fruit isn’t the only one that has medicinal properties. While people love juicy apples, the leaves get thrown out or just ignored. The leaves though have plenty of benefits as well and one of the most notable is its ability to fight advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) activities.
Obesity and overeating are among the most common causes of insulin resistance. There’s also a problem with oxidative stress and inflammation, which are common triggers of diabetes. However, there are recent studies that show regular consumption of advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) contribute to insulin resistance and the development of type 2 diabetes. AGEs are harmful compounds that come from exposing foods to high temperatures when you cook them. These compounds can accumulate in the body as you grow older and can eventually cause chronic inflammation leading to the disease.
AGEs form inside our bodies naturally when the proteins or fats mix with sugars – a process known as glycation. This is quite dangerous because it can affect the normal function of our cells. The cells become more susceptible to premature aging and cell damage. AGEs are found in animal products, particularly those that are high in fat and protein, including red meats. Sugary foods as well as those that are high processed products are also high in the compounds. Grilling, roasting, broiling, and other cooking methods that use high heat to char or brown goods are the main contributors of AGEs in the body.
How Apple Leaves Help
Studies have found that consuming apple leaves can reduce the activity of AGEs, which include vasoconstriction due to endothelial dysfunction caused by AGEs. Apple leaves are best added to the very healthy apple juice, which can enhance the polyphenols in the liquid. This makes it great for everyone, not only for diabetics because polyphenols can increase the potential of apple juice in preventing diseases.
Aside from anti-AGE functions of apple leaves, it also has some beauty benefits since they can fight the signs of aging with their antioxidant content. The leaves also have phloretin, which makes this part of the apple a natural antibiotic. Crushing the apple leaves can help for the treatment of scratches and minor wounds as well.