According to health expert Kathy Freston, author of The Lean: A Revolutionary (and Simple!) 30-Day Plan for Healthy, Lasting Weight Loss, it's something you probably already have in your kitchen: the apple.
Freston says that there may be something to the old adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" after all. In fact, eating an apple a day is so important, it's the single piece of simple advice Freston includes on Day 3 of her plan, in which she asks readers to adopt one additional change each day over the course of a month. Here's why:
Snacking on apples "crowds out" other unhealthy foods from your diet.
Research suggests that people who eat one or more apples per day have a lower risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon and ovarian cancer.
Each apple contributes about 4.4 grams of fiber toward women's daily goal of 25 grams of fiber/day. Fiber is critical for weight loss, as it helps keep us feeling full and satisfied and aids in good digestion. What's more, pectin--a type of fiber found in apples--may delay stomach-emptying, and be superior to other types of fiber in delaying hunger.
Apples are portable, keep well and are easy to grab when you're hungry.
Apples make a perfect snack, but could also work as an appetizer of sorts if you're aiming to lose weight: One study showed that women who ate an apple before meals were more likely to lose weight than women who didn't.
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