We all have heard “Apple a day keeps a doctor away” and therefore apples are among the World’s popular fruits. There are different types of apples, available in all kinds of shapes and colors. They are usually consumed as raw but can also be used in recipes, juices, and drinks. Apples have a significant nutritional profile and are high in fiber, Vitamin C, and antioxidants. Considering their low-caloric content, they can easily become a part of a healthy diet regime. In short, this nutrient-dense food has many research-proven benefits that contribute to optimum health. This article is an overview of the nutritional health benefits of apples.
1 serving of apple, a medium-size apple or about 182 grams, has the following attributes:
|Vitamin C||14% of RDI (Reference Daily Intake)|
|Vitamin K||5% of RDI|
|Potassium||6% of RDI|
|Manganese, Copper||2-4% of RDI|
|Vitamin A, E, B1, B2, and B6||2-4% of RDI|
The Nutritional Profile of an apple shows that it is rich in fiber and Vitamin C. The skin of an apple contributes to much of the fiber and so removing skin leads to a decrease in fiber content. On the other hand, Vitamin C resides in the flesh of the apple and so dehydrating or drying the apple results in a considerable loss of Vitamin C.
Other than these, apples are rich in polyphenols that are micronutrients naturally found in fruits, vegetables, teas, and spices. Basically, polyphenols are antioxidants, and therefore, they protect the body’s tissue against oxidative stress. In addition to polyphenols, other nutrients found in apples include quercetin and pectin. Quercetin, like polyphenols, exerts antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Whereas, Pectin is a soluble fiber that prevents constipation and helps in lowering LDL levels in the blood.
Health Benefits of Apples
Promotes Heart Health
Apples have many factors that contribute to a healthy heart. One reason is the ample amount of fiber found in them that helps to lower blood cholesterol levels. Secondly, plenty of different antioxidants also help prevent the development of coronary diseases. These anti-inflammatory compounds reduce the risk of heart diseases. Apples are also linked with improved heart health as they are naturally low in sodium and high in potassium, thereby lowering blood pressure. All in all, apples promote heart health in several ways.
Lower Risk of Diabetes
Apples are also associated with a lower risk of diabetes. Polyphenols in apples, prevent the tissue damage of beta cells in the pancreas. Beta cells produce insulin in the body and people with type 2 diabetes often have damaged Beta cells. Also, the high amount of fiber in an apple slows down digestion, which prevents a rapid surge of sugar levels in the blood after meals.
Most people with diabetes have a misconception that apples should be restricted for diabetic patients. But although apples have a sweet taste and have a high amount of carbohydrates, they are also rich in fiber and anti-oxidants. This means that apples, as a sweet snack, are not only allowed for diabetic patients but also help in lowering the risk of diabetes and have additional health benefits.
Apples are antioxidant-rich and so the free-radical scavenging property prevents the oxidative stress that causes cell damage and may lead to the development of certain types of cancers. According to research conducted in 2016, consuming apples was related to lowering the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer, among other types of cancer.
Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant naturally found in apples. This particular antioxidant is known to kill abnormal cells and interrupt various phases of the cell cycle in tumors thus preventing cancer development. Quercetin prevents the development of prostate cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer.
Supports Weight Loss
Among the many nutritional health benefits of Apples, they also help in weight loss. Apples, other than being healthy and nutritious, help to manage appetite. Their filling property is due to the high fiber content. Many studies prove that apple consumption is related to healthy weight loss mainly because of fiber and water content and low calories. In other words, if you are looking for healthy ways to reduce weight then adding apples to your diet might just help you to satiate hunger and satisfy your sweet cravings.
To sum up this article, we can say that apples are healthy, nutritious, and tasty. There are several nutritional health benefits of apples mainly owing to their rich fiber content and antioxidants. Some of the benefits include improved heart health, lowering the risk of diabetes, prevention against cancer, and support in weight loss.