Top 10 Apple Health Benefits and Nutrition Facts
You probably have heard the saying “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Whoever started this old Welsh proverb may have known that Apple is truly good for one’s health. Apple is one of the most consumed fruits in the world. It is also ranked as a superfood that has a very high nutritional value. If you rarely eat apples, perhaps you should take note of the multitude of apple nutrition facts that you are missing out on, plus all the apple health benefits that you should be taking advantage of. Let us start with some of the top health benefits of apples that can definitely improve your health.
Apple Health Benefits
There are so many reasons why you should include apples in your regular diet. Apples are a powerhouse when it comes to nutrition, which is why it can provide numerous health benefits for everyone.
Good for the Heart
Apples are very much associated with lowering the risk of heart disease. Apples are very rich in soluble fibers which can lower the cholesterol level in the blood. The skin of the apple is rich in polyphenols, which has the ability to lower blood pressure. The phenolic compound in the skin of the apple stops the cholesterol from solidifying and blocking the arteries. When the cholesterol or plaque build up in the arteries, this will restrict the blood flow, resulting in coronary artery disease. Other antioxidants present in the apple can also lower blood pressure and reduces the cholesterol level.
Keeps You Full and Boost Weight Loss
Apples are full of fiber that can make you feel full longer. This will help you limit your intake of calories per day. Fiber takes longer to digest, which is why you don’t feel hungry hours after eating foods that are high in fiber. If you really want to shed off some weight, you should aim to consume about 25 to 40 grams of fiber each day. The apple skin can also help keep you slim and fit because it contains ursolic acid. According to one study, the ursolic acid has been found to boost calorie burn and promote muscle development. It is also linked to lowering the risk of obesity and weight gain.
Feeds the Good Bacteria in the Gut
Apples contain pectin, which is a type of fiber that can act as a prebiotic in your gut. Pectin can promote the good bacteria in your gut. When this fiber goes to the colon or large intestine, it feeds the good bacteria and allows them to grow and flourish. When you have a healthy gut, this can help lower the risk of obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Prevents Diarrhea and Constipation
Again, the high level of fiber in apples plays a major factor in preventing the onset of stomach problems such as diarrhea and constipation. Fiber has the ability to pull water out of the colon to help keep everything moving along. It can also absorb extra water from the stool to slow down the bowel movement. So if you are having problems with your bowel movement, perhaps you should increase your intake of apples or any other foods rich in fiber.
Help Fight Asthma and Allergies
The antioxidants present in apples can help protect the lungs from any oxidative damage. The flavonoid in apples called quercetin can reduce inflammation and regulate the immune system. This positive reaction has a great effect in your body because it fights asthma and allergies. A study found that eating apples frequently can lower the risk of having asthma.
Good for Brain Health
One of the most useful apple health benefits, especially for the elders, is its ability to promote brain health. This means eating apples can help sharpen your memory and mental focus. Studies have found that apple juice can preserve acetylcholine, which tends to decline as you get older. This acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is used for communicating between nerve cells. People who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease have been observed to have low levels of acetylcholine.
Lowers the Risk of Cancer
If your family has a history of cancer, then it is better to look for any preventive measures that can lower the risk of developing this very serious disease. Eating an apple regularly is one of the best ways to avoid getting cancer. A research by scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research has found that consuming apples that are rich in flavonol can help reduce the risk of pancreatic cancer by 23 percent. The apple peels contain the compound called triterpenoids, which has the ability to fight the growth of cancer cells in the breast, liver, and colon. Other experts recommend consuming a fiber-rich diet to help lower the risk of colorectal cancer.
Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
There have been several studies made proving that apples can prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. In one study, researchers have found that eating one apple per day can reduce the risk of diabetes by 28 percent compared to the people who did not eat apples daily. Apples are very rich in soluble fibers, which can help stop any sudden changes in the blood sugar. Also, apples, together with blueberries and pears, contain a certain type of antioxidant called anthocyanins, which helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Boost the Immune System
Orange is the most popular fruit that contains high levels of vitamin C. However, apples can also provide you with enough vitamin C to strengthen and boost your immune system. One medium sized apple contains 8 mg of vitamin C, which is about 14% of the recommended daily consumption. Red apples also contain quercetin, which is an antioxidant that fortifies the immune system. So if you want to keep those nasty colds and flu away, it is a good idea to eat more apples and load up on vitamin C.
The act of chewing and eating an apple is enough to cleanse your teeth. Chewing stimulates the production of saliva in the mouth, which can wash away the bad bacteria in the mouth and prevent tooth decay.
Prevent the Formation of Gallstones
When there is a high amount of cholesterol in the bile, it might lead to the formation of gallstones. This condition is most often prevalent in people who are obese. In order to prevent gallstones from forming, doctors recommend eating apples and other foods rich in fiber. Having a diet that is rich in fiber can help keep your cholesterol levels in check and it is also easier for you to control your weight.
Apple Nutrition Facts
Apple is truly a nutritional powerhouse because it contains rich amounts of essential nutrients. Here is the nutritional value per 100 grams of an apple with skin.
- Carbohydrates – 13.8 grams
- Protein – 0.26 grams
- Beta-carotene – 27 micrograms
- Thiamin or vitamin B1 – 0.017 milligrams
- Riboflavin or vitamin B2 – 0.026 milligrams
- Niacin or vitamin B3 – 0.091 milligrams
- Pantothenic acid or vitamin B5 – 0.061 milligrams
- Vitamin B6 – 0.041 milligrams
- Folate or vitamin B9 – 3 micrograms
- Vitamin C – 4.6 milligrams
- Vitamin E – 0.18 milligrams
- Vitamin K – 2.2 micrograms
- Calcium – 6 milligrams
- Iron – 0.12 milligrams
- Magnesium – 5 milligrams
- Manganese – 0.035 milligrams
- Phosphorus – 11 milligrams
- Potassium – 107 milligrams
Some of the most important nutrients of apples are the following:
- Dietary Fiber – with a diet full of fiber, it can prevent the development of diseases and reduce the cholesterol level in the blood.
- B-Complex Vitamins – these include the riboflavin, vitamin B6, and thiamin. These vitamins can boost the health of your red blood cells and nervous system.
- Vitamin C – this antioxidant can fight free radicals and strengthen the immune system. It will also improve your body’s resistance to infectious diseases.
- Phytonutrients – these phytonutrients can protect your body from the harmful effects of the free radicals.
- Minerals – the most important minerals found in apples are calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
More Apple Nutrition Facts:
- A medium-sized apple provides about 100 calories.
- Apples do not contain any fat, cholesterol, and sodium.
- One medium-sized apple contains about 14% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C.
- The quercetin found in the skin of the apple can protect your brain cells.
- If you want to get the most nutrients from your apple, you should eat it with the skin on. The skin contains half of the fiber content and polyphenols.
- Apple is a very good source of boron. Boron is a mineral that is essential in building stronger bones and help prevent osteoporosis. Some of the benefits and uses of boron include building muscle mass, developing sex hormones, and supporting important brain functions. There are studies suggesting that low levels of boron are linked to arthritis, fatigue, and mood swings.
- Apples can give you a quick boost of energy and enhance your physical performance. This is why many athletes eat an apple before or after an intense workout.
Now that you have seen the apple health benefits and its nutritional value, it really makes a lot of sense to include this amazing fruit into your diet. You can also try to research some delicious recipes that include apples as one of the main ingredients.