Apples are the one of the most popular fruits known and eaten for the benefits and taste of it. The famous saying which most everyone is aware of “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is very true as the health benefits of apples are many. It is the most cultivated fruit in the world and can be considered as a superfood. It is also one of the top-ranked fruit for an individual’s health.
Apple health benefits:
1. Apple nutrition:
The nutritional value of apples is high and that’s why it is recommended as a healthy snack to be incorporated in to the diet. Two cups of apples contains- 95 calories, 25 g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 14% RDI Vitamin C, 6% RDI potassium and 5% RDI Vitamin K. It also contains manganese, copper, vitamin A, B1, B2, B6 and E in smaller amounts as compared to the others. They also contain polyphenols and fibers which can are present on the skin of the apples. So, to attain the complete nutrition of the apple it is best to consume them with the skin on.
2. Aids weight loss:
Apples are high in fiber and water content and help a person to feel satiety. This can help reduce the consumption of calories throughout the day by eating an apple before every meal. Studies have shown that people that ate apples prior to their meals ate 200 calories lesser as compared to those that didn’t. Another study that was conducted on 50 overweight women showed that they lost an average of 2 pounds when apples or oat cookies were added to their diet as compared to others. They also ate an overall lesser amount of calories.
3. Improves heart health:
Studies have shown that apples can help reduce the risk of heart diseases. This may be so because; apples are high in soluble fibers that help to lower blood cholesterol levels. They also contains unique antioxidants like polyphenols. One of the polyphenols called epicatechin which is a flavonoid, may help reduce blood pressure. Studies have shown where the intake of flavonoids help in reducing the risks of strokes by 20%. A study compared apples to statin that are drugs that help lower cholesterol and they suggested that apples could be just as effective in reducing mortality from heart diseases as compared to statins. However they did not have controls so this evidence is not sufficient. This is one of the health benefits of apples.
4. Improves brain health:
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Biology and Medicine discovered that quercetin was one of the two compounds that helped in reducing cellular death caused due to oxidation and neuronal inflammation. This compound is found in high amounts in apples. Also, another study suggested that the consumption of apple juice can help in increasing the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. This is turn, improved the memory in mice that showed Alzheimer’s-like symptoms. Thus, it can help protect against neurodegenerative diseases as well as boost memory and learning abilities.
5. Reduces the risk of diabetes:
Studies have shown that apples can help to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. A study had shown that consuming apples can reduce the risk of diabetes by 28% as compared by not eating them. Also, the polyphenols present abundantly in apples help prevent tissue damage in the beta cells of the pancreas. These cells produce insulin and are often damaged in people suffering from type-2 diabetes. The apple fruit benefits the body by lowering the risk of diabetes overall.
6. Reduces the risk of breast cancer:
Studies have shown where polyphenols play an important role in warding off breast cancer. They are present in good amounts in apples and thus, incorporating apples in to the diet will be beneficial to act as an anti-cancer agent. This is one of the health benefits of apples.
7. Prevents obesity:
Studies have shown where apples have positive effects on good bacteria in the gut. This paves a way to finding a strategy to combat obesity. These bioactive compounds in apples may prove to be effective against obesity and thereby, preventing obesity-related problems. This is one of the apple health benefits on the body.
8. Lowers cholesterol:
Apples are rich in antioxidants that help prevent in reducing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol. A large study concluded that the consumption of apples decreases the risk of thrombotic stroke. Another study conducted suggested that older women that ate apples everyday had 4% more good cholesterol and 23% less bad cholesterol in just over a period of six months.
9. Beneficial for liver:
Apples help to take the load off the liver and thus can help in detoxification process of the liver. It helps in promoting excreting toxins out of the body. Thus improving liver function is one of the health benefits of apples.
10. Prevents gallstones:
Gallstones are formed when there is too much cholesterol in the bile and it solidifies to form gallstones. Doctors recommend eating a high fiber diet to help managing weight as well getting rid of bad cholesterol. This is one of the apple health benefits for the body.
11. Prevents constipation:
Apples act as a natural laxative to the body. It helps in digesting food and preventing colon and intestinal damage. It provides hydration to the body and thus, prevents hardening of the stools that leads to constipation.
12. Protects against oral problems:
Apples helps in promoting healthier teeth by enhancing the whiteness in teeth. They help in stimulating the secretion of saliva that has antibacterial properties. This saliva promotes killing bacteria that are responsible for tooth decay and cavities. Also, apples have antioxidants that help in killing off harmful oral bacteria in the mouth.
13. Promotes bowel health:
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterised by diarrhea, constipation and bloating. To prevent this from occurring it is advised to eat a high fiber diet. Apple health benefits the body by providing the body with necessary fibers as well as aiding better digestion.
14. Prevents Parkinson’s disease:
Studies have suggested that eating high fiber foods help in protecting against Parkinson’s disease. This disease is characterized by breaking down of dopamine producing nerve cells in the brain and it may be prevented by powerful antioxidants that help fight free radicals.
15. Improves bone health:
Studies have suggested that antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds that are contained in fruits, can help promote bone density. Eating fruits like apples can help increase bone density and thereby, promoting stronger and healthier bones. Studies have also shown that women that had fresh or peeled apples in their meals lost less calcium than those that didn’t eat apples. Thus, apples may play a role in improving bone health.
Apple juice or applesauce to some is thought to be a healthy choice as they have essential vitamins and antioxidants; they are not as healthy as eating raw apples. This is because they do not contain fiber or some nutrients that are naturally present in raw apples. Apples also contain high amounts of fructose and should be eaten in moderation by some that are suffering from chronic health problems. It is better to eat apples in the raw form as they contain a lesser amount of fructose as compared to apple juice. People suffering from diabetes should talk to their doctors before eating apples in excess due to their high sugar content. However, it may good to replenish the glycogen levels in the body after an excessive work out for athletes.
Another important fact to know about apples is that they are more beneficial to the body if they are consumed along with the peel. This is because the antioxidants are present in the peel. Also, while purchasing apples make sure that their peel is shiny and not dull. They do not have bruises and if you wish to store them for a few days; do so by storing them in the refrigerator to maintain their texture and taste. You can eat them as snack and also before meals.
The other types of apples are also beneficial to the body and those are green apples. There are many benefits of green apples as they are rich in vitamins, minerals and proteins, which contribute to the well-being of the body. It is not as common as the red apples and also differs in taste.
Apple cider vinegar is made from apples by a two-step process. Apple cider vinegar benefits the body as it contains amino acids and antioxidants that help support the body’s immune system. It also has many other important roles in the body’s well-functioning.
Now that you have seen the health benefits of apples, you should consider adding them to your diet and live a healthier lifestyle.