Health Benefits of Apple You Must Know About
We all know of the old Welsh proverb, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but do we understand the reasons that make this fruit so special? What are the health benefits associated with eating apples? Read on to know about the health benefits of apple!
There are over 7,500 varieties of apples and they come in a variety of colours namely red, yellow, and green. The skin of apples is thin but sturdy and the inner flesh is thick and juicy, and it softens as it ripens. The inner core holds the seeds, which are dangerous for your health.
The nutrients are in the flesh and the skin, which are a rich source of anthocyanins and tannins. It’s indeed true when they say, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
Did You Know?
– Pomology is the science of growing apples
– Two-thirds of the fibre and lots of antioxidants in apples are present in the peel
– Apple seeds contain a cyanide
– The average apple contains 10 seeds
The long list of health benefits attributed to apples is due to the vitamins, minerals, nutrients, and organic compounds found in them. These important nutritional elements include vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6 and riboflavin. The list also includes minerals like potassium, copper, manganese, and magnesium.
Apples are very good sources of dietary fibres and are rich in phytonutrients and flavonoids like quercetin, epicatechin, phlorizin and other polyphenolic compounds.
Health Benefits of apple
The health benefits of apples include prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases, and heart, stomach, and liver disorders, gallstones, constipation, anaemia, and diabetes. They also lower your risk of suffering from rheumatism, eye disorders, a variety of cancers and gout.
Apart from the fruit, the oil extracted from its seeds is also useful and has many applications especially in the cosmetic industry. The benefits of apple seed oil come from its impressive mineral and protein content. It helps reduce the appearance of acne, reducing wrinkles, and moisturizing the skin. This oil also prevents skin cancer, boosts skin elasticity, prevents sun damage, and stimulates the production of collagen to produce new, healthy skin cells. However, you should not consume it orally but you can use it topically.
Here are the most prominent health benefits of apples that actually help you keep the doctor away.
Improves Heart Health
Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apple, helps in reducing inflammation, particularly of the cardiovascular system and improving immunity. Quercetin also helps reduce allergies and in vitro studies show it slows the growth of certain cancers.
Blood sugar control is essential for people who suffer from diabetes and the polyphenols in apples have been directly linked to reducing the uptake of carbohydrates by the body. This, in turn, reduces the fluctuation of blood sugar levels that occur in the bloodstream, an important factor for keeping diabetes in check.
The polyphenols also lower glucose absorption in our digestive tract and stimulate the release of insulin from our pancreas, which is also necessary to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Finally, the polyphenols stimulate the insulin receptors on cells throughout our body, which speeds up the removal of sugar from our bloodstream and gets it to our cells for metabolism and proper organ function.
Apples, being rich in fibre, help in the digestive process. Regular consumption of apples ensures smooth bowel movements and the prevention of constipation and stomach disorders. Fibre is an important part of any diet. It adds bulk to the stool and helps food pass through the digestive tract smoothly.
Furthermore, it stimulates peristaltic motion so the muscles contract appropriately and move food along. Finally, it stimulates the release of gastric and digestive juices to ensure efficient uptake of nutrients. On the other hand, it scrapes off excess cholesterol out of your veins and arteries. This ensures proper heart health and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
Promotes Weight Loss
Chlorogenic acid found in apples have strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. This phenolic acid can help with weight loss by improving glucose tolerance for less fat-storing.
Apples are beneficial for anaemia patients since they are a rich source of iron. Anaemia is a deficiency of haemoglobin in the blood, which can be considerably managed by increasing your intake of iron. Iron is an integral part of the red blood cells. By increasing the number of red blood cells in the body, you not only prevent anaemia but also ensure a proper oxygen supply to essential organ systems to keep them functioning properly.
Stimulates Hair Growth
Procyanidin B2, a flavonoid, of which apples are the richest source, appears to have a special effect on your hair and how fast it grows. Procyanidin B2 stimulates hair growth by activating the anagen (growth) phase of the hair follicle. It also decreases the time that follicles remain dormant.
How can you include apple in your diet?
Sweet and juicy apples are fermented for two days to make spiced probiotic apples. This fermenting process preserves the food and creates beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids, and various strains of probiotic microorganisms. Fermented, probiotic foods cleanse the digestive tract and remove toxins from your body. They also help your body absorb nutrients.
Apples are extremely versatile fruits that you can eat alone or use it as an ingredient in several recipes. The skin of an apple contains unusual amounts of nutrients, and so, you should eat it with its skin on. Even if you are using the apples in a recipe, it is advisable to use them unpeeled to reap the amazing benefits of apple nutrients. But before using the apple, make sure to scrub its skin gently with a natural bristle brush for 10 to 15 minutes to remove the pest-proof coating of wax.
There are many ways to include apple in your diet. Some of our favourite ways are as follows:
- Fresh apple juice is one of the simplest recipes. The fruit pairs well with cucumber, watermelon and carrot.
- Baked apple is another simple recipe—remove the cores only half-way to the bottom of the fruit. Fill the hole with a combination of cinnamon, sugar, a pinch of cardamom, raisins, walnuts or almonds. Add a small amount of water to the bottom of the pan and bake at 200ºC for 15 minutes and they are ready to eat.
- Salads: Apple chunks go well in recipes with beets, carrot and walnuts.
- Chip substitute: Apple slices are a surprisingly pleasant chip substitute, on par with carrot slices and cucumbers. The crisp sweetness in pink apples makes them an especially delicious choice.
- Applesauce, pie, muffins, cakes, cupcakes, and tarts are also very famous.
Processing of apples such as boiling or extraction of apple juices often results in the loss of polyphenols or other nutrients. Hence, consumption of raw apples is the best option to obtain all the nutrients.
Don’t let these side effects scare you off apples! These red coloured fruits should definitely be a part of your daily diet. The only thing you need to be careful about is the numbers of apples you are eating. Like most things in life, moderation is the key to happiness and fulfilment!
Disclaimer: Like many other fruits, apples have a high content of fructose. Unlike glucose,fructose is only used in the liver. When in the liver, it produces fats called triglycerides, which can lead to heart diseases. Excess consumption of apples can also lead to excess fructose in the body, which can cause several health problems like diabetes and obesity.
100g of apple provides 59 Calories, Carbs – 14g (Dietary Fibre – 2.3g, Sugar – 10g), Protein – 0.3g, Fat – 0.2g, Sodium – 1mg
And a percentage daily value of Vitamin A – 1%, Vitamin C – N/A%, Iron – 1%, Calcium – 1% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).