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Apple is a nutritious fruit that has been the staple of many diets for centuries. Apples can help you stay healthy with their phytochemicals and antioxidants, promoting weight loss, improved digestion, heart health, and more.
Is it true that one apple a day is beneficial for you? Owing to all of the benefits that apples provide in terms of nutrition, yes. The ancient adage “one apple a day keeps the doctor away” seems to be rather accurate. “In the laboratory, apples have been discovered to have extremely significant antioxidant activity, prevent cancer cell growth, reduce lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol,” according to Cornell University’s Department of Food Science. Not bad for one of the most readily accessible and simple-to-use fruits!
Apple nutrition advantages include the capacity to assist digestion since it is one of the greatest high-fiber meals available. Pectin, a soluble, gelatinous polysaccharide that binds to cholesterol in the gastrointestinal system and delays glucose absorption, is abundant in apples. Apples may help you control your weight, minimize disease-causing inflammation, and enhance your heart health. Apples also make a wonderful, portable post- or pre-workout snack because of their quick-release natural sugars, which may help you feel energized.
While berries are often credited with providing the most antioxidants, apple nutrition is close. Thanks to a wide family of phytonutrients found in apple pulp and peel, some studies connect apple eating to a lower risk of cancer, obesity, cardiovascular disease, asthma, Alzheimer’s disease, and even diabetes.
Nutritional Values and Types
Apples are the fruits of the Malus Domestica tree. Many various species of apple trees are cultivated now all over the globe, although they began thousands of years ago in Asia. Apples come in hundreds of different types nowadays. Skins come in various colors, including brilliant red, yellow, green, pink, and bi- or tri-colored designs. They also come in a variety of flavors and sweetness levels. Around 2,500 identified varieties (cultivars) of apples are growing in the United States, with more than 7,500 types farmed worldwide!
The phytochemical makeup of apple nutrition differs substantially, according to studies, across various types of apples. Additionally, modest changes in phytochemicals occur throughout the maturity and ripening processes. While other apples are fine alternatives, some authorities say the good old red delicious apple has the most antioxidants.
The following are some of the most prevalent apple varieties:
- Red delectable
- Granny Smith
- Golden delectable
Nutritional Values of Apples
What is the calorie count of an apple? What is the carbohydrate content of an apple? A medium apple (weighing about 182 grams) contains approximately:
- Calorie Count: 94.6
- Carbs: 25.1 g
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Fiber: 4.4 grams
- Vitamin C: 8.4 milligrams (14 percent DV)
- Potassium: 195 milligrams (6 percent DV)
- Vitamin K: 4 micrograms (5 percent DV)
- Vitamin B6: 0.1 milligrams (4 percent DV)
- Manganese: 0.11 milligrams (3 percent DV)
Vitamin A, vitamin E, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, choline, betaine, calcium, iron, magnesium, and phosphorus are all found in apples.
1. Excellent source of anti-cancer antioxidants
Apples are a high-antioxidant food and a major source of flavonoids in the diets of individuals in the United States and Europe. Apples provide 22 percent of the phenolic antioxidants ingested in the United States, making them the single biggest source of these chemicals.
Apples are second only to cranberries in terms of total phenolic compounds among all varieties of fruit. Flavonoids are phenolic chemicals, which are a kind of bioactive material. Apple nutrition has the freest phenolic compounds when compared to all other varieties of fruit. That implies these molecules aren’t tethered to other substances in the fruit, which might slow down their beneficial effects on the body.
According to studies, the following antioxidants may be present in apple nutrition:
- Chlorogenic acid is a kind of chlorogenic acid that is
Apples do more than fight free radicals because of their unique chemicals. They also have both anti-proliferative and pro-cell-signaling properties.
Anti-inflammatory foods, such as apples, have been related to the prevention of prostate cancer in studies due to their high levels of quercetin. According to other data, some protective phytochemicals found in the skin of apples may aid in the inhibition of cancer cell multiplication in the colon. In addition, the capacity to battle free radical damage and oxidation gives apples their healing effect since both cardiovascular disease and cancer are linked to a state called oxidative stress, which occurs over time as damage to cells and DNA builds. That is why apples are an important element of a healthy diet.
What portion of an apple is the healthiest? Eat the whole apple, including the peel, to receive the best advantages. When scientists looked at the antioxidant potential of pears and apples, they discovered that diets that contained the peels had considerably greater amounts of beneficial fatty acids (higher plasma lipid levels) and antioxidant activity than diets that just ate the fruit’s pulp.
2. Assist in the prevention of inflammation
Phytochemicals contained in colorful fruits, such as phenolics, flavonoids, and carotenoids, have been shown to lower the risk of several chronic illnesses that are common but generally avoidable. This is due to phytonutrients’ ability to keep arteries clean, reduce inflammatory reactions, and avoid oxidative stress.
According to research from California State University, high-antioxidant meals are linked to “better outcomes related to the cognitive decline of normal aging, diabetes, weight management, bone health, pulmonary function, and gastrointestinal protection.”
3. Fight Cardiovascular Disease
There is considerable evidence that a diet rich in high-fiber foods, particularly fresh fruits and vegetables, may help reduce the risk of a variety of chronic illnesses. For example, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States. Many studies demonstrate that those who eat more antioxidant-rich fresh plant foods have lower inflammation and, as a result, a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pectin, a form of fiber found in apples, is particularly well-known for its natural ability to decrease cholesterol levels. Rats given a diet rich in apple pectin extract and freeze-dried apples had considerably lower levels of cholesterol absorption and triglycerides than the control group, according to a 2003 research. Furthermore, in terms of gut fermentation and lipid metabolism, the rats that received both apple pectin and dried apples (rats who received just one of these) benefited the most. This shows that the interactions between fibers and polyphenols in apples play a key role in heart health indices.
Over 15 years, researchers from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health monitored participants. They discovered that a higher diet of fruits and vegetables was linked to a decreased risk of all-cause mortality and cardiovascular disease. Antioxidant-rich fruits have also been shown to help reduce strokes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diverticulosis, and hypertension.
Apples are the ideal high-fiber food, with almost four grams of fiber in each one. An apple is a wonderful method to meet your daily requirement of 25–30 grams of fiber. Pectin is particularly abundant in apples. Pectin is a form of soluble fiber that promotes the removal of fatty compounds in the digestive system, such as cholesterol and toxins, by adhering to them.
Apple nutrition contains fiber, which helps you feel full. It grows and takes up space in your intestines. It helps with detoxifying as well. Because pectin controls the body’s usage of carbohydrates and cholesterol, apple nutrition is beneficial to the digestive system. It also aids in the cleansing of the blood and gastrointestinal system.
5. Improve your digestive system’s health
A high-fiber diet has been demonstrated to help with digestive difficulties such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and even digestive malignancies. Fruit consumption is linked to improved digestive health, particularly in the colon, stomach, and bladder. In addition, apple phytonutrients may help protect the digestive organs from oxidative stress, alkalize the body, and maintain a healthy pH balance.
When it comes to natural constipation cure, eating a high-fiber diet is an excellent method to avoid or treat the problem. Apple nutrition also contains pectin, which is a natural diuretic. In addition, it may aid with bloating and water retention because it has a slight laxative action. Try eating raw apples (remember to eat the peel as well) or blending them first before adding them to dishes. Apple juice may also provide health advantages; however, you should avoid the high-sugar juices offered in most grocery shops.
6. Vitamin C is abundant in this food
A medium apple provides around 14% of your daily vitamin C needs. Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that benefits the skin, eyes, immune system, and brain. In addition, vitamin C, like other antioxidants found in fresh fruits and vegetables, fights free radical damage and helps to protect DNA and cells from mutation and deformity.
According to research, vitamin C is essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism and mending tissue, particularly in the eyes and skin. In addition, vitamin C-rich foods, such as apples, offer anti-aging properties because they stimulate skin cell regeneration, aid in wound healing, protect against infections and dangerous germs, and protect against UV radiation damage.
7. Can Assist You in Losing Weight
Obesity is related to a larger diet of fruits and vegetables. Apples are abundant in vital nutrients and antioxidants, but they’re also low in calories since water and fiber make up a large portion of their content.
Apples may satisfy your sweet desire without weighing you down or increasing food cravings since they include a high amount of dietary fiber, which has no digestible calories and is beneficial for maintaining balanced blood sugar levels. In addition, apples may help you lose weight quickly when combined with other effective weight-loss strategies.
8. It Has the Potential to Assist in the Treatment of Diabetes
Are you wondering whether the sugar in fruit is harmful to your health? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention discovered that eating five or more combined servings of fruits and vegetables per day greatly reduced the chance of developing diabetes in people. It may seem odd that fruits and vegetables, which naturally contain some sugar, are linked to a lower risk of diabetes, but studies have shown this repeatedly.
Apples and other fruits include flavonoids that have been shown to increase insulin sensitivity. This is crucial for avoiding diabetes as well as long-term weight gain. Apples also include additional antioxidants and fiber, contributing to their anti-diabetic properties.
Apples are considered a low-glycemic-index fruit since they are abundant in fiber. As a result, apples can release sugar into circulation at a slower pace than refined carbs or sweetened items. This means they make blood sugar levels more consistent and minimize blood glucose swings, contributing to insulin resistance.
9. Asthma Symptoms Can Be Helped
Apples, interestingly, have been demonstrated to serve as natural asthma cures. They are, in fact, linked to pulmonary health in general. For example, apple and pear consumption was linked to a lower incidence of asthma and bronchial hypersensitivity in a 2003 research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, including 1,600 individuals in Australia.
Nearly 600 people with asthma and 900 people without asthma were polled about their diets and lifestyles for the research. The total amount of fruits and vegetables consumed was very slightly linked to asthma, while apple consumption was shown to have a larger negative association with asthma. Subjects who ingested at least two apples each week showed the greatest benefit.
It’s also worth noting that this seems to be a pure apple nutrition advantage. Even though they contain comparable phytochemicals, onion, tea, and red wine intake were not linked to the development of asthma. This shows that apple flavonoids have unique interactions that help reduce asthma symptoms more effectively than other antioxidants and minerals.
10. Boron is abundant
Here’s a little-known truth regarding the nutritional value of apples: One of the finest natural sources of boron is apples. Boron is a mineral that aids in the formation of strong bones and the prevention of osteoporosis. Boron has a variety of applications and advantages, including assisting in the development of sex hormones, increasing muscular growth, and improving cognitive function. Unfortunately, low boron consumption has also been linked to weariness, arthritis, and mood swings, according to some data.
Pears vs. Apples vs. Oranges vs. Bananas
- Certain elements, such as vitamin C, potassium, calcium, and folate, are greater in orange nutrition than in apple nutrition. Vitamin C may be found in abundance in oranges. One orange has almost 100 percent of your daily need, but an apple only contains 10 percent to 14 percent. Apples have a few more calories and are richer in fiber than oranges. On the other hand, some individuals can tolerate oranges but not apples. Why? Apples contain a higher level of FODMAPs than other fruits.
- Bananas contain a lot of sugar and a lot of starch, but they have less sugar than apples (14 grams in a banana compared to 19 in an apple). Bananas have a lot more carbohydrates than other fruits, but they also have a lot more nutrients. Potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin B6 are among them. A banana has seven times the folate and three times the potassium of an apple. On the other hand, apples contain somewhat higher vitamin E and K. They’re also higher in flavonoids.
- The Rosaceae plant family includes both apples and pears. They are said to have originated in Asia. Both have higher dietary fiber than fruits such as oranges and bananas. Pectin is often associated with apples; however, pears have a greater provider of this kind of fiber. Pectin functions as a soluble fiber by attaching to fatty substances in the digestive system, such as cholesterol and toxins, and encouraging their evacuation. A pear and an apple have about the same amount of calories. Both contain around 100 calories and 17–19 grams of sugar. They have comparable carbohydrate content as well.
One of the finest times to eat fruit is when it’s in season. It may be used before or after a workout. Because they’re natural suppliers of fructose and glucose sugar molecules, apples, oranges, bananas, and pears may deliver a rapid surge of energy before a workout. So if you eat a piece of fruit as a snack before going to the gym, it may help you improve your physical performance, focus, and stamina.
Because we require glucose to restore depleted glycogen stores and aid muscle recovery, the body utilizes sugar optimally around the time of exercise. Consider bringing your favorite fruit to work or to the gym with you. After a workout, you may also have one as part of a balanced, nutritious snack.
Traditional Medical Applications
Apples have long been used to treat digestive problems, including constipation and dysentery. Dysentery is a gastrointestinal inflammatory condition. It’s most frequent in the colon, where it causes severe diarrhea and stomach discomfort. Fever, heart disease, scurvy, and warts were all treated with apples.
Apples are considered to have astringent, cooling characteristics that might assist with heartburn and a sour stomach. Apples have long been used to help clean the mouth and teeth due to their antioxidants and vitamin C content. They were also used to prevent disorders caused by a lack of vitamin D. Apples were used in a variety of traditional treatments, including vinegar, herbal drinks, and alcohol. To cure a sour stomach and restore strength and tone to the sphincter, make a therapeutic tea or syrup from apple tree bark.
Apples and their leaves have long been used to cure inflammation, swelling, boils, and infected bites by chewing them and applying them to the skin. To avoid constipation, Ayurvedic medicine recommends stewed/cooked apples. Apples are said to be beneficial for harmonizing Kapha energy. To put it another way, they aid in the relief of fatigue, weight gain, clogged sinuses, allergies, and colds. Apples also help to balance Vata and Pitta. Cooked apples aid in the production of “digestive fire” as well as “improving immunity, cheerfulness, and vigor.” Apples and other fruits are used to produce chutneys and preserves in Ayurvedic cuisine. Spices including cinnamon, fennel, dry-roasted ground cumin, ginger, and coriander are often used in their preparation.
What to Look for and How to Use
If you’re going to the grocery store or a farmers market to purchase apples, be sure they’re organic. Unfortunately, apples have been on the Environmental Working Group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of the most chemically treated fruits and vegetables for the last eight years. According to a study conducted in 2015, apples had the greatest quantity of pesticides among the 48 fruits and vegetables tested!
Is it really that important? Unfortunately, yes! According to new research, persons who purchased organic food had lower organophosphate pesticides detected in their systems than those who bought largely conventionally farmed fruits and vegetables.
Apples should be kept in the refrigerator to keep them fresh for as long as possible. They have a quite long shelf life, lasting on average several weeks. That means you can pick them up at the grocery store whether or not you need them right now.
Even though it’s thought that keeping apples has little to no influence on their phytochemical levels, how they’re cooked and processed may significantly impact their nutritional availability.
Apples contain a lot of antioxidants that are considered sensitive. When apples are eaten fresh or gently cooked, they are best kept. The nutrients of an apple may be harmed by high heat. Try to stay away from any apple-based packaged goods. Instead, utilize them in your own kitchen in a number of low- or no-cook methods.
Apples are usually available throughout the year and are most abundant in the autumn but may be found at any time. Apples may be utilized in a variety of ways. Toss a few in salads or sauces. To make low-sugar apple sauce, combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. With a pinch of cinnamon, simmer or bake them. Fresh apples may be used to make juices and smoothies.
While eating the entire apple is always preferable, homemade apple juice is unquestionably superior to store-bought varieties. Natural enzymes, vitamins, and phytonutrients are present in the genuine thing, but they are often lost or destroyed during large-scale production operations. To minimize sugar, restrict your juice consumption to eight to ten ounces per day.
One item that should not be missed is the utilization of apples to manufacture apple cider vinegar, which is one of the greatest fermented, health-promoting meals. Apple cider vinegar has several health advantages. For example, it may help with immunity, digestion, cravings, and blood sugar surges, among other things.
Apples have been cultivated in Asia and Europe for thousands of years. However, they originated in Turkey and are said to be the first tree to be grown by humankind! Over thousands of years, the apple tree’s fruit has been developed by selection. Consequently, we now offer a wide range of flavors and types.
They were first introduced to North America by European colonists in the 17th century and have since become a staple of the American diet (think apple pie!). Many civilizations have had religious and mythical importance for them throughout history. They are referenced in the Bible, for example, in the account of Adam and Eve in Genesis. Ancient Greek, European, and Christian cultures have also had symbolic value.
Every year, over 69 million tons of apples are cultivated throughout the globe! China produces over half of this number each year, followed by the United States (second), Turkey, Italy, India, and Poland.
Apple trees are susceptible to various fungal, bacterial, and insect diseases that may be managed using a variety of organic and non-organic methods. This is why apples are often treated with pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals. Apples’ skins are often wrapped in a protective coating of epicuticular wax to keep them fresh, but you should try to locate one that isn’t waxed (and organic).
Side Effects and Risks
Apples, along with peaches and kiwis, are among the fruits that have a greater risk of causing allergic responses. Fruit allergies often manifest as symptoms in the mouth, lungs, face, nose, and stomach. For example, itching and swelling of the tongue, lips, and neck might appear within minutes after swallowing the trigger meal. If you or your children have these responses after eating apples or have additional food allergy symptoms, consider getting an allergy test before eating them again.
Some individuals may get stomach issues as a result of eating apples. This is because they contain FODMAP carbohydrates, which some individuals have trouble digesting. In addition, apples, pears, and a few other fruits and vegetables have the potential to ferment in the stomach, causing IBS, bloating, and digestive pain. If you’re having these problems and can’t figure out why, try following a low-FODMAP diet for a while.
- Apples are the fruits of the Malus Domestica tree. There are around 2,500 recognized varieties (cultivars) of apples farmed in the United States, with more than 7,500 types grown worldwide.
- Fiber is abundant in apple nutrition. In addition, pectin, vitamin C, and antioxidants are all found in apples.
- Apple nutrition has several advantages, including improved digestion, weight reduction, prevention of inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, asthma, constipation, and the provision of minerals such as boron, vitamin, and flavonoid antioxidants.
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