One of the most common fruits in the world is apples – and it’s easy to see why. an apple a day keeps the doctor away. An apple is an exceptionally healthy fruit with many scientifically supported health benefits.
Here are the impressive health benefits of apples:
Apples are nutritious
A medium-sized apple – about 180 grams – offers the following nutrients:
- Calories: 95
- Carbohydrates: 25 grams
- Fibre: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 14% of recommended daily intake (RDI)
- Potassium: 6% of RDI
- Vitamin K: 5% of RDI
- In addition, the same amount provides 2-4% of the RDI for manganese, copper and vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6.
Apples are also a good source of polyphenols. Although nutrition labels do not list these plant compounds, they are probably responsible for many of the health benefits.
- Apples can help with weight loss
Apples are rich in fibre and water – two properties that make them filling.
In one study, a group ate apple slices before a meal, which made them feel fuller than those who consumed apple puree, apple juice or no apple products before a meal.
In another 10-week study of 50 obese women, participants who ate apples lost an average of 1 kg more and ate fewer calories overall compared to those who ate oatmeal with a similar calorie and fiber content as apples.
Researchers believe that apples give a greater feeling of satiety because they are less energy-dense, but still have a large volume compared to the calories and are rich in fiber.
In addition, some natural compounds in them can promote weight loss.
A study on obese mice found that those who received a supplement of concentrate made on crushed apples and apple juice lost further weight and had lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and also the total cholesterol in the body than the rest of the mice in the study.
- Apples can contribute to good heart health
One reason for this may be that apples contain soluble fiber – the kind that can help lower your cholesterol levels.
They also contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant effects. Many of these polyphenols are concentrated in the shell.
One of these polyphenols is the flavonoid epicatechin, which has been shown to lower blood pressure.
An analysis of several studies showed that a high intake of flavonoids was linked to a 20% lower risk of stroke.
Another study comparing the effects of eating one apple a day instead of taking statins – a type of drug known to lower cholesterol – found that apples were almost as effective in reducing the risk of death from heart disease as drugs.
But since this was not a controlled trial (patients were not monitored 24/7), one must take the result with a pinch of salt.
Another study showed that consumption of fruits and vegetables with white pulp, such as apples and pears, could reduce the risk of stroke. For every 25 grams of apple slices that were consumed, the risk of stroke decreased by 9%, which may mean that high consumption can result in a greatly reduced risk of Stroke.
- Apples are associated with a lower risk of diabetes
Several studies have linked apple consumption to a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A large study showed that consuming one apple a day could be linked to a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes compared to not eating any apples. Even eating just a few apples a week had a similar counteracting effect.
- Apples can have probiotic effects and promote healthy intestinal bacteria
Apples contain pectin, a type of fibre that works is probiotic. This means that the fibres feed the good bacteria in the stomach.
Pectin is also transformed into other useful compounds that circulate back through your body.
New research suggests that this may be the reason for some of the protective effects that apples have against obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.