Does an “Apple a day keeps the doctor away”? Apparently, your mom was right! You can even let her know, the health benefits of apples is clear and well researched.
From kicking heart disease in the bad cholesterol breadbasket to filling up your tummy and reducing weight gaining calorie intake, eating an apple a day is good medicine.
10 Amazing Health Benefits of Apples
1. The Medium Apple’s Nutritional Facts
A medium apple is a simple but perfect snack loaded with nutrients. A three-inch diameter apple will yield about one and a half cups of sweet, yummy fruit chunks or slices. Nutrition wise, it is clocking in at 95 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, a whopping 4 grams of fiber, 14% of the RDI (Reference Daily Intake) of Vitamin C, 6% of the RDI for Potassium, and 5% of the RDI for Vitamin K.
This little round fruit’s plant compounds offer major health benefits. Apples are also rich in polyphenols, resveratrol, and other healthy compounds to get your cholesterol levels, blood sugar, and fiber intake under control.
One study shows that by adding apples to your diet regularly may contribute to lower risk of mortality. Who doesn’t want to lower their risk of kicking the bucket too early!
2. Apples Can Aid In Weight Control
We all know fruit packs a powerful punch in the nutrition department. High fiber foods can aid in the fight against weight gain and help us lose excess weight. Apples are filling and researchers have found that when they are eaten regularly, apples contribute to weight loss.
Apples have a low calorie density, meaning they are mostly water. A medium apple has about an 86% water content. The high water content paired with the high fiber content helps you feel full. When you fell full, you are less likely to over eat, which helps you feel more confident. When you feel more confident, you make better choices, like eating apples. It is a wonderful, healthy cycle to fall into and can take you to weight control places you have never been.
Eating foods with a high fiber content may slow down the digestive process. This, in turn, helps you feel more full and eat less. It is best to eat your apples in their whole state. If you opt for apple juice, which can be high in sugar, it may not be as filling and will deliver more calories than you need. Bottom line, stick to whole foods in their natural state.
Getting to and maintaining a healthy weight is the one key thing you can do to help your body ward off a plethora of diseases and complications. The added bonus apples nutrients add to your weight control plan is a win/win.
3. Reduce Acid Reflux
Love pepperoni pizza and beer on Friday night, hate what it does to your body on Saturday – acid reflux is no joke.
Acid reflux happens when food seeps back into the esophagus and causes pain and irritation. The resulting burning sensation is typically heartburn and/or an unpleasant sour-tasting fluid appearing in your throat. Not a fun way to relive a pizza and beer meal.
According to WebMD, adding fiber-rich foods like apples to your diet can help keep acid reflux under control. Eating your way to health is a much better solution than adding unnecessary prescription and over-the-counter anti-reflux medications to your system.
Eat more apples and enjoy an occasional pepperoni pizza with a brew and have a happy, heartburn free Saturday.
3. Fighting Asthma
Fighting asthma and trying to catch your breath is scary and life threatening.
Oxidative stress can lead to asthma. Quercetin, a flavonoid found in apple skin has been shown to help regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation which can lead to asthma.
A study on children whose mother ate apples while pregnant showed a 27% lower risk of wheezing. The researchers believe that phytochemicals in apples may be linked to this healthy outcome
Another study by the Nutrition Journal found that “apple and pear intake was associated with a decreased risk of asthma and in bronchial hypersensitivity”. The study found that participants who ate at least two apples a week, showed a marked inverse relationship with asthma.
4. Love Your Pancreas
The antioxidants in apples can protect the cells in your pancreas which can lower your risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Red apples have resveratrol in their skin, much like that in red wine. Although researchers are still in the study phase, resveratrol is an antioxidant-like compound that may be beneficial to your blood pressure, brain, joints, and pancreas.
Looking for a way to adding the plant compounds found in apples to your diet healthfully. How about adding these super healthful and yummy Apple Butternut Squash Pancakes from Pancan.org. They are a delicious snack for everyone and especially helpful if you suffer from nausea or upset stomach issues.
5. Keep Cardiovascular Disease At Bay
The benefits of eating apples frequently is directly related to it’s soluble fiber content. This ever so popular fruit is super healthy and high on the soluble fiber chart. Soluble fiber dissolves in water when it enters the body and maintains a gel-like consistency. The fiber sticks to the bad cholesterol and flushes it out of the body.
A study in the Journal of Functional Foods, as reported by Prevention, found that eating an apple a day can cut your risk of developing heart disease by almost in half. The daily apple lowered participants blood oxidation of the bad cholesterol, LDL by 40 percent.
The polyphenol antioxidants in apples is most likely the leader in reducing the oxidative damage that can lead lower your LDL which may reduce your risk of atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is when your arteries harden which can lead you down the path to a stroke or heart attack.
Eating a balanced diet, including apples is the best heart health diet for a long life.
6. Bolster Your Immune System
Research has shown that the soluble fiber in apples may change immune cells to morph into anti-inflammatory superstars. Helping us fight off infections and recover quicker.
Amp up your soluble fiber intake the next time you are fighting an infection and you man recover much faster. And it’s a delicious way to improving your health.
7. Fiber And Gut Health
The pectin, a type of fiber, found in apples acts potential prebiotic. Since the fiber is passed through your small intestine during the digestive process, it goes into the colon and helps feed the good gut bacteria.
So go ahead, chomp away on those apple slices and fuel your gut bacteria on your way to optimum health.
8. Apples And Cancer Prevention
The American Institute for Cancer Research found that the fiber and polyphenol compounds in apples correlate to a reduced risk of the estrogen receptor-negative form of breast cancer.
Apples contain procyanidins, a type of antioxidant, that may have a positive effect in the prevention of precancerous lesions in the colon. While researchers are still studying this correlation, it is safe to say Eat your fruits and veggies every day!
Eating apples with their antioxidant rich and anti-inflammatory properties is a healthy way to avoid developing certain types of cancer cells.
9. Apples And Osteoporosis
We all want better bone health. Eating foods rich in calcium is a good way to improve and maintain our bone density. But there seems to be a new bone health kid in town – phlordzin.
Along with fibre and Vitamin C, apples have an exclusive flavonoid called phloridzin. French researchers found that phloridzin may protect postmenopausal women from developing osteoporosis. The study found this particular flavonoid improves inflammation makers and may increase bone-density.
As we get older, hard fruits like apples can be difficult to eat. Since ingesting the peel is just as important as eating the fruit, thinly slicing the apple may be the easiest way to chomp through all that protective goodness. There seems to be less health benefits from drinking apple juice or eating apple sauce, so add some Fixodent to your choppers and get munching on the real, raw apple for the best bone density protection.
10. Organic Vs Non-Organic
Eat your apple with the skin on for the best fiber and polyphenol intake. Since you want to eat the skin, going organic when purchasing apples can add an extra layer of health benefits.
Apples are one of the fruits on Dirty Dozen when it comes to heavy chemical use. They seem to make the list every year. Since many growers use fertilizers to increase yield, pesticides to reduce insect damage, and herbicides to reduce weeds; apples can have a large number of contaminants.
When purchasing apples, certified organic is best. At the grocery store, items will be certified organic, but it isn’t always as easy at your local farmers market. Becoming organic certified is expensive and many small farmers cannot afford the certification. However, that doesn’t mean your produce isn’t organically farmed. Chat with your food vendor and ask about their growing practices, you may be surprised to find their apples and other items are produced organically or near organically making them a better and trusted food source.
The best way to get all the organic goodness from your fruits and vegetables, grow you own. Start with a small organic garden, or even a tiered patio pot and get started on amping-up your green thumb skills.
If you don’t have access to organic apples, be sure to give the apple peel a thorough scrubbing before chowing down.
Grow Your Own Apples
For the best apples on your table, grow you own. You can experiment with a ton of different variety options, control the amount of chemicals applied to the trees, and enjoy the freshest apples you will ever eat. Part of the fun is watching the trees grow, bloom, and produce fresh eating fruit.
Apples can be grown in a wide range of USDA Hardiness Zones making them attractive to any home gardener or orchardist. From Granny Smith to Red Delicious, you will find an apple that is perfect for your home planting. Some apple trees can even be grown in patio pots for the gardener who has limited space.
Below is a list of a few of our favorite apple varieties. Click through each apple to see if they are just what you need to add to your mini apple orchard. To view all of our apple variety reviews visit our Apple Page where we will guide your on your apple tree selection and growing journey. Acquiring a green thumb is just a short step away.
- Macoun Apples
- Rome Apples
- Pixie Crunch Apple
- Jonathan Apples
- Spartan Apples
- Jazz Apples
- Red Delicious
- Granny Smith
Add Apples To Your Menu
Adding apples to your daily menu is simple. Grab one as your go-to, mid-day snack. They can be sweet and juicy or tart and crunchy, but anyway you slice them, the health benefits are clear, a diet high in fibre and low in calories is a perfect combination for a healthy snack.
When cooking with apples, try to stay clear of the standards with lots of added sugar. Eating an apple pie may be lip-smacking good, but the lard laden crust and sugar coated apple slices will not afford you any health benefits. Just sayin’
So ditch the apple pies, apple brown better, calorie dense apple juice, and high sugar apple sauce and go for the freshest and most organic apple you can get your hands on. Then happily munch away knowing you are fueling your body with vitamins, antioxidants, all the other nutritional goodies apples supply.
Join us on our journey through the world of all things fruit. Apples, pears, plums, and more are the topics of recent posts. You will find lots of posts with great recipes and the health benefits of eating a balanced diet full of fruits and vegetables.
Excited for more apple content? Visit my apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!