Apples: What to know

Apples are a popular fruit, actually contains antioxidants, vitamins, dietary fiber, and a range of other nutrients. They can help prevent many health conditions due to their varied nutrient content.

Apples come in a variety of types, colors, and tastes and provide a variety of nutrients that can help several different aspects of the wellbeing of an individual.

They will help to minimize the risk of cancer, obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many other disorders, for example.

Find out more about the nutritional content of apples in this article and how they can improve the health of a person.

Health benefits

A variety of health benefits are provided by the nutrients in apples.

Apples are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, all of which support health. They have an array of antioxidants as well. Such compounds help neutralize free radicals.

As a consequence of natural processes and environmental pressures, free radicals are reactive molecules that can build up. They can induce oxidative stress if too many free radicals accumulate in the body, and this can lead to cell damage. A variety of conditions, including cancer and diabetes, may contribute to this damage.

Apples contain a range of antioxidantsincluding:

  • quercetin
  • catechin
  • phloridzin
  • chlorogenic acid

Learn more about good dietary sources of antioxidants here.

The sections below look at past research into the potential health benefits of apples.

Dementia and neurological health

A 2019 laboratory study concluded that quercetin, possibly because it prevents reactive species from being produced, has a neuroprotective effect. It appears to help neurons survive and continue to function. Therefore, it may help prevent age-related loss of neurons.

The results of a mouse study in 2015 indicated that high-dose supplementation with quercetin could help protect cells from the type of damage that can lead to Alzheimer’s disease.

It should be noted that the majority of studies of this type used high doses of quercetin, which are unlikely to occur from normal dietary sources. In addition, before they can confirm that quercetin improves neurological health in people, scientists need to do more studies in humans.

Stroke

An older study from 2000 looked at how the risk of stroke in 9,208 individuals was affected by consuming apples over 28 years.

The authors found that there was a lower risk of thrombotic stroke in those who ate the most apples.

There are many nutrients in apples that may lower the risk of stroke. For example, one 2017 review found that individuals who consume the most fiber seem to have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

A medium sized apple with a diameter of around 3 inches and a weight of 182 grams (g) provides 4.37 g of fiber. Depending on their age and sex, that is around 13-20 percent of the daily requirement of an adult.

Cholesterol

One 2013 study found that eating raw apples lowered low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels among healthy people, but it did not have the same effect when drinking clear apple juice. Therefor, the authors conclude that it is the fiber in apples that helps lower cholesterol.

Get some more tips for lowering cholesterol here.

Heart health

Fiber, vitamin C, antioxidants, and potassium are found in apples. The following are provided by the medium-sized apple:

  • 13–20% of a person’s daily fiber needs
  • 9–11% of a person’s daily vitamin C needs
  • 4% of a person’s daily potassium needs

Fiber, which can minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease, tends to help control blood pressure.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that may play a role in protecting certain aspects of heart health, alongside other antioxidants. Vitamin C can also strengthen the immune system and help to protect the body from diseases and infections.

Potassium helps relax the blood vessels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular problems and high blood pressure.

What other foods can help lower blood pressure? Find out here.

Diabetes

A population analysis in 2013 showed that people who substituted three servings of fruit juice per week with the same quantity of whole fruit, including apples, had a 7% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who did not consume fruit.

Those who eat the most fiber also have a lower chance of developing type 2 diabetes, one 2011 review suggested. There could also be lower blood sugar levels in people who already have diabetes and adopt a high fiber diet.

To satisfy the sweet tooth and provide nutrients, the American Diabetes Association recommends consuming fresh fruit, including apples. They remind individuals, however, to account for the content of carbohydrate in the fruit.

There are 25.1 g of carbohydrate in a medium apple, 18.9 g of which is sugar. However, it also contains fiber and other nutrients, suggesting that it has additional health benefits as a sweet snack.

Cancer

a tConsumption of foods rich in antioxidants can help avoid oxidative stress that causes damage to cells and can lead to the ! development of certain cancers. Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants.

One 2016 meta-analysis concluded that eating apples can, among other forms, help lower the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer,

Fiber, according to a meta-analysis published in 2018, may also help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Obesity

Apples contain bioactive compounds that can help promote healthy gut bacteria, which can help optimize the health of people with obesity, according to a 2019 rodent survey.

The authors looked at how the gut microbiota of rats could be influenced by consuming apples. The changes they noticed indicated that the intake of apples could benefit people with obesity.

Fiber can also make a person feel full and less likely to overeat for longer.

It can be safe for fruits and vegetables of all sorts, but which fruits have the most benefits? Here, Read More.

Nutrition

The amount of each nutrient in a medium sized raw apple weighing about 182 g is shown in the table below.

It also indicates, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Recommendations for Americans, how much an adult requires for each nutrient. Depending on the age and sex of the person, needs differ.

NutrientAmount in 1 appleDaily adult requirement
Energy (calories)94.61,800–3,000
Carbohydrate (g)25.1, including 18.9 g of sugar130
Fiber (g)4.422.4–33.6
Calcium (milligrams [mg])10.91,000–1,300
Phosphorus (mg)20700
Magnesium (mg)9.1320–420
Potassium (mg)1954,700
Vitamin C (mg)8.3775–90
Folate (micrograms [mcg])5.46400
Choline6.19425–550
Beta-carotene (mcg)49.1No data
Lutein and zeaxanthin (mcg)52.8No data
Vitamin K (mcg)490–120

Applies also provide iron, vitamin A, some B vitamins, and vitamin E.

Dietary tips and recipes

As well as many different methods of eating them, there are several types of apples.

Like applesauce, chopped in salads, baked whole, in pies, pastries, and cakes, in curries and chutneys, dried in slices, added to smoothies, and just like juice, people can eat them whole.

Some common varieties of apples include:

McIntosh: A juicy, tender red apple with white flesh and a tangy flavor.

Red delicious: A crisp, juicy red apple.

Fuji: Yellow and red in color, it has firm, sweet flesh.

Granny Smith: A green apple with a sharp flavor and a crisp, greenish flesh.

Delicious gold: a yellow apple with a mild, sweet taste.

Preferences vary, but many people prefer tart, tangy apples for making applesauce or apple pie. Try mixing tart apples with sweet ones while cooking or adding spices to fight the sharpness to avoid adding sugar.

Recipes

Here are some recipes that include apples:

Risks and considerations

It is doubtful that consuming an apple would cause severe side effects in most individuals, but some people will need to be cautious.

Some possible risks of eating apples are mentioned in the sections below.

Toxins

Apple seeds are cyanide-containing. It is unlikely that swallowing whole seeds would cause harm, but it may be risky to chew and swallow a large number of apple seeds.

Allergies

After consuming apples, some individuals may have an allergic reaction. Anyone experiencing hives, swelling, or breathing problems should seek medical attention immediately.

It could become life threatening if this leads to anaphylaxis.

Teeth

There has been a common belief in the past that eating an apple would help remove plaque from your teeth. Studies have not found clear proof of this, however. It is more likely that brushing the teeth regularly would have this effect.

Furthermore, the acidic content of apples can contribute to plaque accumulation. Therefore, after consuming an apple, people should rinse their mouth with water or brush their teeth.

Choking

On raw apple pieces, young children and older adults who have trouble swallowing can be at risk of choking. It could be a safer option to eat unsweetened applesauce or other kinds of cooked apple.

Sources

  • Antioxidants and cancer prevention. (2017).
    (LINK)
  • Appendix 7. Nutritional goals for age-sex groups based on dietary reference intakes and Dietary Guidelines recommendations. (2015). 
    (LINK)
  • Apple, raw. (2019).
    (LINK)
  • What to know about apples (LINK)
  • Apple varieties. (n.d.).
    (LINK)
  • A primer on potassium. (2018).
    (LINK)
  • Boyer, J., & Liu, R. H. (2004). Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits.
    (LINK)
  • Fabiani, R., et al. (2016). Apple intake and cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies [Abstract]. 
    (LINK)
  • Fiber up, slim down. (2018).
    (LINK)
  • Fruit. (n.d.). 
    (LINK)
  • Garcia-Mazcorro, J. F., et al. (2019). Apple consumption is associated with a distinctive microbiota, proteomics and metabolomics profile in the gut of Dawley Sprague rats fed a high-fat diet. 
    (LINK)
  • Haq, S. H., & AlAmro, A. A. (2019). Neuroprotective effect of quercetin in murine cortical brain tissue cultures. 
    (LINK)
  • Jensen, G. S, et al. (2014). Consumption of dried apple peel powder increases joint function and range of motion.
    (LINK)
  • Knekt, P., et al. (2000). Quercetin intake and the incidence of cerebrovascular MP3: [Abstract].
    (LINK)
  • Ma, Y., et al. (2018). Dietary fiber intake and risks of proximal and distal colon cancers: A meta-analysis.
    (LINK)
  • McRae, M. P. (2017). Dietary fiber is beneficial for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: An umbrella review of meta-analyses.
    (LINK)
  • Moser, M. A., & Chun, O. K. (2016). Vitamin C and heart health: A review based on findings from epidemiologic studies.
    (LINK)
  • Muraki, I., et al. (2013). Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: Results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies.
    (LINK)
  • Phaniendra, A., et al. (2015). Free radicals: Properties, sources, targets, and their implication in various diseases.
    (LINK)
  • Ravn-Haren, G., et al. (2013). Intake of whole apples or clear apple juice has contrasting effects on plasma lipids in healthy volunteers [Abstract].
    (LINK)
  • Rubido, S., et al. (2018). Effect of chewing an apple on dental plaque removal and on salivary bacterial viability.
    (LINK)
  • Sabogal-Guáqueta, A. M., et al (2015). The flavonoid quercetin ameliorates Alzheimer’s disease pathology and protects cognitive and emotional function in aged triple transgenic Alzheimer’s disease model mice.
    (LINK)
  • Slavin, J. L., & Lloyd, B. (2012). Health benefits of fruits and vegetables.
    (LINK)
  • Stone, W. L., et al. (2019). Biochemistry, antioxidants.
    (LINK)
  • Vafa, M. R., et al. (2011). Effects of apple consumption on lipid profile of hyperlipidemic and overweight men.
    (LINK)
  • Wolfe, K., et al. (2003). Antioxidant activity of apple peels [Abstract].
    (LINK)
  • Wolfram, T., & Ismail-Beiji, F. (2011). Efficacy of high-fiber diets in the management of type 2 diabetes mellitus [Abstract].
    (LINK)

Related Articles

Back to top button