The crisp, juicy, and satisfying apple is a staple of autumn. Coming in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, apples can benefit many aspects of a person’s healthy. That’s right, they are more than sweet and satisfying fruits! Apples have been known to reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and more. Some nutritionists even refer to apples as secret weapons for your health.
Nutrition Facts Of Apples
The nutritional profile will vary slightly between different apple varieties and their sizes. Some are very small, while others are very large. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) breaks down the nutrition for one medium apple as follows:
- 95 calories
- 0 grams (g) of fat
- 0.5 g of protein
- 25 g of carbohydrates
- 4 g of fiber
- 8 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
- 98 IU vitamin A
- 195 mg of potassium
- 9 mg of magnesium
With roughly 85% water content, apples help to enhance hydration efforts. The fiber content also helps you feel full, and the fact that it takes a while to eat an apple also aids with this process. Statistically, foods that take longer to eat help reduce overeating, whereas foods that you gobble down quickly tend to leave you hungry. Apples also have a low glycemic index, so they don’t spike blood sugar levels when you eat them. This is interesting when you consider how sweet certain apples can be!
They Benefit Neurological Health
There is a large amount of data that suggests apples may be beneficial for brain health. Many researchers believe that this is because of the impressive quercetin content. As a fun fact, there is higher antioxidant activity in the apple peel than in the flesh. A small animal study in 2015 examined higher dose quercetin supplementation on mice. The results concluded that this antioxidant was able to protect cells from damage that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. A 2019 study found that quercetin has a neuroprotective effect, and it may even prevent certain reactive species. It helps neurons survive and function optimally, potentially reducing age-related neuron loss.
They May Reduce The Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
As mentioned earlier, apples have a low glycemic index and they are rich in fiber. Harvard researchers examined a review of data from more than 187,000 people involved in three long-term studies. The participants ate at least two servings a week of blueberries, grapes, and apples. The results found that eating in such a way reduced their diabetes risk by 23%, compared to people who only had one serving or less per month of these fruits. The fiber in apples also helps to stabilize blood sugar levels. Another study that consisted of over 38,000 healthy women, who ate one or more apples a day. The findings revealed that they reduced their risk of type w diabetes by 28%.
They May Reduce The Risk Of Cancer
An apple a day may keep the doctor, and potentially cancer, away. Several studies found that regular apple consumption may reduce the risk of lung cancer. In a Nurse’s Health Study, women who ate one or more apples daily experienced a 21% reduced risk of lung cancer. A separate Italian analysis linked eating one or more more apples daily to a reduced the risk of colorectal, breast, and prostate cancers. In fact, separate Italian studies found that apples reduced the risk of colorectal cancer more than any other fruit. Researchers attribute these benefits to the impressive antioxidant activity in apples, which is second only to cranberries.
They May Protect The Heart
Flavonoids help to protect the body in various ways. The flavonoids in apples may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, one study found that women who ingested apples experienced a 35% reduction in cardiovascular-related events. Additionally, the study found that ingesting apples alone reduced the risk of cardiovascular disease by 13-22%. Several reports found that the high fiber content in apples helps to lower bad LDL cholesterol and increase good HDL cholesterol. A small clinical trial found that people who ate two apples daily for eight weeks had much lower LDL cholesterol levels than those who didn’t eat apples.