Apples are the most popular and delicious fruits on the planet with more than 7,500 varieties. There is nothing like biting into a bright, sweet, red, juicy apple to quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth while boosting your health in a major way.
This fruit comes in a variety of colors namely red, green and yellow. Its well saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. It’s often called a ‘miracle food’.
The health benefits of apples include prevention of heart, gallstones, stomach, and liver disorders, constipation, anemia, and diabetes.
APPLE NUTRITION PROFILE:
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, apples are rich in many essential nutrients, minerals and vitamins.
They are free of fat, cholesterol and sodium. Antioxidants, high dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium and a few vitamin B (niacin, vitamin B6) are responsible for long list of health benefits attributed to apples.
Apples are also rich in calcium, iron, copper, vitamin K, phosphorus, and magnesium. They are also packed with phytonutrients and flavonoids like quercetin, phloridzin, epicatechin and other polyphenolic compounds. Apples are also rich in polyphenols, which function as an antioxidant.
These polyphenols are found in both skin of the apples as well as in meat, so to get the greatest amount of benefits, you can also eat the skin of the apples. According to Nutrition Data, one medium sized (182 grams) raw apple with peel contains —
- Calories : 94.6
- Carbohydrates : 25 grams
- Fiber : 4.4 grams
- Potassium : 195 mg
- Vitamin A : 98.3 IU
- Vitamin C : 8.4 mg
- Vitamin K : 4 mcg
- Calcium : 10.9 mg
- Magnesium : 9.1 mg
- Phosphorus : 20 mg
- Phytosterols : 21.8 mg
- Folate : 5.5 mcg
HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLES:
1. Improves Neurological Health:
A 2006 study published in the journal Experimental Biology and Medicine found that quercetin, an antioxidant found in apples, was one of two compounds that helped to reduce the cellular death that is caused by the oxidation and inflammation of neurons.
Another study presented at the same conference and published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease suggested that the apple juice consumption may increase production in the brain of the essential neurotransmitter acetylcholine, resulting in the improved memory among the mice who have Alzheimer’s-like symptoms.
2. Apples for Cholesterol:
Apples are rich in fibers. When we eat apples, soluble fibers compete with the fats in intestine. This competition between fibers and fats result in decrease of absorption of LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase in absorption of HDL (good cholesterol).
This how apples and the cholesterol levels control in the body is connected.
In other words, the soluble fiber found in apples binds with the fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels and makes you healthier.
According to study published in the journal Advances in Nutrition states that both consuming apples and drinking apple juice is associated with reduced overall cholesterol.
A study from the University of Reading found that all 40 individuals who consumed two apples per day had a lower bad cholesterol level by almost 4%.
3. Apples for Immune System:
Apples are rich in vitamin C, antioxidant compounds and protein, which play major role in boosting immunity, preventing weakness and improving muscle tone.
If you want to gain weight, apples should be a part of your daily part of diet. They also help in detoxifying body and improving the overall health.
According to a report published in the journal Times of India states that consuming apples play an important role in keeping your immune system healthy.
4. Apples for Diabetes:
Women who eat apples — at least one a day — are 28 per cent less chances to develop type-2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples. It’s because this fruit is loaded with soluble fiber, that is the key to blunting blood sugar swings.
According to a study published in the journal BMJ states that eating fresh whole fruits including apples, blueberries and grapes, significantly reduces the risk of developing type-2 diabetes.
According to Mayo Clinic, type-2 diabetes can lead to other health problems such as heart and blood vessel issues, nerve damage, kidney conditions, etc.
5. Apples for Bone Health:
Apples play an important role in keeping your bone health.
Apples contain compounds like quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin, which have been linked to reducing inflammatory conditions like arthritis and gout.
Thus, people suffering from rheumatism can add apples in their diet chart.
6. Apples for Eye Vision:
Sometimes many individuals do not see properly in dim or low light. This can result from vitamin-A deficiency.
Research has shown that vitamin-A deficiency can lead to nyctalopia or night blindness. To avoid this issue, you can consume apples.
It is rich in vitamin A and can help to increase your eyesight (especially at night). It can help to prevent conditions like macular degeneration, glaucoma and cataracts.
They also make eyes stronger and can improve eyesight and help in treating night blindness.
7. Apples for Healthy Liver:
Human liver is responsible for clearing the toxins out of your body. The vitamins, fiber and minerals in apples help to flush all the toxins out of the liver.
The anti-oxidant properties of apples increase the flow of detoxifying enzymes in the body. This is the reason why it is advisable to wake up in the morning and eat an apple.
So you can eat to apples to detoxify your liver.
8. Apples for Weight Loss:
Apples are rich in polyphenols, dietary fiber, carotenoids (a type of anti-oxidant) and many other healthy nutrients.
The polyphenols present in it act like anti-obese properties in the body. It reduces free radicals and obesity, which can help you lose weight.
The fiber present in apples fills the stomach for fewer calories. Hence, reducing calorie intake along with killing the hunger pangs.
This allows for the accumulated fats to be burned and contributes to the weight loss.
9. Apples for Whiter Teeth:
The biting and chewing of this fruit increases the secretion of saliva in mouth that delays the tooth decay. This fruit can definitely make those unpleasant visits to dentist a lot less frequent.
10. Apples for Hair:
Like your body and skin, your hair also needs nutrients to grow, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc and iron.
All these nutrients are found in apples, due to which we can say that the properties of apples can help your hair to grow. There can be many reasons for hair loss and nutritional deficiency is also one of them.
Apples provide nourishment to your hair as well as can prevent hair loss problem.
11. Prevents Dandruff:
Dandruff is a problem that can happen to anyone at any time. It may be due to nutritional deficiency, pollution, change in weather and infection, etc.
You can use apple to get relief from dandruff. Research has shown that apples have anti-fungal and anti-dandruff properties, which eliminate infection-causing fungus present in your scalp and relieve you from dandruff.
These properties are especially found in apple peel. It also gives a shiny look to hair and also acts as a good hair conditioner.
12. Apples for Heart Health:
Apple also help to lower the risk of heart stroke and various other heart problems. Its anti-oxidant properties reduce the oxidation of fats, called lipid peroxidation.
It also neutralizes various fats, which found in blood vessels that can exert the dangerous pressure.
Flavonoid quercetin reduces the inflammation in our blood vessels. Polyphenol epicatechin also helps to lower the blood pressure of the body.
13. Apples for Skin:
Apples are probably one of the best fruit that can provide you beautiful and glowing skin. Apple has the potential to brighten, lighten and soothe your skin.
It’s because of its high content of collagen and elastic, the stuff that is vital for keeping your skin flawless and youthful.
Thus, consuming this delicious red fruit provides with a rosy, youthful glow forever. It also hydrates as well as cleanses your skin.
For this purpose, you can cut a slice of an apple and apply its juice on your face until it dries up. This will balance oil production in your body and is a great hydrating mask.
14. Prevents Cancer:
According to the scientists at American Association for Cancer Research,
“The consumption of flavonol-rich apples could help to reduce the risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23%.”
According to researchers at Cornell University, apple peel contains several compounds — triterpenoids — containing potent anti-growth activities against cancer cells in the colon, liver and even breast.
Also, an earlier study found that whole apple extracts can reduce the size and number of mammary cancer in rats.
15. Apples for Gallstones:
Gallstones are usually formed as small hard particles due to excess deposition of cholesterol and bilirubin in the bladder.
This problem occurs more to those individuals who are overweight. In such cases, a diet rich in fiber, such as apples, can help you to lose weight, which can give relief from gallbladder stones.
16. Apples for Asthma:
If you are suffering from asthma disease, then you can get benefits of eating apples.
The fruit is rich in flavonoids that have been considered beneficial in relieving asthma.
Flavonoids contains anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant properties and also improve disease resistance.
Also, it has anti-asthmatic properties, which can help you breathe better by reducing the risk of asthma.
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