This healthy fruit has numerous health benefits. Apples may reduce your risk of developing cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. According to research, apples may aid in weight loss while also enhancing gut and brain health.
It’s no wonder that apples are the most extensively consumed fruit in the world, with over 7,000 different cultivars available (1Trusted Source).
There is an apple for everyone, from sweet red kinds like Red Delicious, Fuji, or Gala to tart green ones like Granny Smith — my personal favourite that I eat with lime juice and a little salt when I want a savoury snack.
Pies, cookies, muffins, jam, salads, oats, and smoothies are all frequent uses for them. They’re also delicious on their own or wedged and slathered with nut butter.
Aside from their culinary diversity and variety of colours and flavours, apples are an extraordinarily healthy fruit with multiple research-backed benefits.
Here are eight astonishing apple health benefits.
Apples are nutrient-dense fruits, which means they provide a lot of nutrients per serving.
The current American Dietary Guidelines recommend 2 cups of fruit per day for a 2,000-calorie diet, with an emphasis on whole fruits like apples (2Trusted Source).
A medium 7-ounce (200-gram) apple has the following nutrients (3Reliable Source):
Carbohydrates: 28 g
Fibre: 5 g
10% of the Daily Value (DV) for Vitamin C
Copper accounts for 6% of the DV.
5% of the DV for potassium
4% of the DV for vitamin K
The same amount also contains 2-5% of the daily value (DV) for vitamins E, B1, and B6.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin B1 is required for growth and development, and vitamin B6 is required for protein metabolism (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source, 6Trusted Source).
Apples are also high in polyphenols, which are a type of antioxidant. Antioxidants are substances that shield your cells from free radicals, which are damaging molecules that contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer (4Trusted Source).
While these plant components are not listed on nutrition labels, they are most likely responsible for many of apples’ health advantages. (1 Reliable Source)
Leave the skin on apples to get the most out of them, as it includes half of the fibre and the majority of the polyphenols (7Trusted Source, 8Trusted Source).
Could help with weight loss
A growing sense of fullness can help you lose weight by controlling your appetite. As a result, you may minimise your energy consumption (9Trusted Source).
having whole apples boosted sensations of fullness for up to 4 hours longer than having equivalent amounts of apple purée or juice, according to one study. This occurred as a result of whole apples slowing gastric emptying — the rate at which your stomach discharges its contents (10Trusted Source).
Apple consumption may also considerably reduce Body Mass Index (BMI), a weight-related risk factor for heart disease (11Trusted Source).
Interestingly, apple polyphenols may have anti-obesity properties as well (12Trusted Source).
It could be beneficial to your heart.
Apples have been associated to a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease (13Trusted Source).
One possible explanation is that they contain soluble fibre. This type of fibre can aid in the reduction of blood cholesterol levels.
Another reason could be that they provide polyphenols. Some of these, such as the flavonoid epicatechin, have been shown to reduce blood pressure (13Trusted Source).
Flavonoids have also been associated to a lower incidence of stroke in studies (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
Furthermore, flavonoids can help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, decreasing LDL cholesterol oxidation, and decreasing atherosclerosis, or the formation of plaque in your arteries (14Trusted Source).
Another study found that consuming white-fleshed fruits and vegetables, such as apples and pears, lowered the risk of stroke. The risk of stroke is reduced by 9% for every 1/5 cup (25 grammes) of apple slices consumed per day (16Trusted Source).
Diabetes risk is reduced when
Eating apples may also lower your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
A review of studies indicated that consuming apples and pears reduced the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 18%. In fact, as little as one serving per week may cut the risk by 3% (17Trusted Source).
This beneficial impact could be explained by their high level of the antioxidant polyphenols quercetin and phloridzin (18Trusted Source, 19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
The anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin may help to lower insulin resistance, which is a major risk factor for the development of diabetes. Meanwhile, phloridzin is thought to inhibit sugar uptake in the intestines, resulting in a lower blood sugar load and, as a result, a lower risk of diabetes (19Trusted Source, 20Trusted Source).
Could improve gut health
Pectin, a form of fibre that serves as a prebiotic, is found in apples. This means that it nourishes your gut microbiota, or healthy bacteria in your gut.
Your gut microbiota plays an important role in your general well-being since it is involved in numerous functions connected to both health and disease. A healthy stomach is frequently essential for good health (21Trusted Source, 22Trusted Source, 23Trusted Source).
Because dietary fibre cannot be digested, pectin enters your colon undigested, boosting the growth of beneficial bacteria. It specifically enhances the Bacteriodetes to Firmicutes ratio, which is the ratio of the two main forms of bacteria in your gut (13Trusted Source, 24Trusted Source, 25Trusted Source).
According to new research, apples may help guard against chronic diseases such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer by modifying your gut microbiome (13Trusted Source).