Apples are among the most popular fruits and that’s right. They are very healthy and their healing effects have been confirmed by many scientific studies. In this article, we will look at 10 positive effects of apples on your health.
1. Apples contain a lot of nutrients
Apples are literally loaded with nutrients of all kinds.
In one medium-sized apple we find the following nutrients:
- Calorie: 95
- Carbohydrates : 25 g
- Fiber : 4 g
- Vitamin C : 14% of the recommended daily dose
- Potassium : 6% of the daily recommended dose
- Vitamin K : 5% of the recommended daily dose
- Manganese, copper and vitamins A, E, B1, B2 and B6 : less than 4% of the recommended daily dose.
In addition, apples are a rich source of polyphenols. And even if you don’t find information on the amount of polyphenols in apples in the store, these substances have a number of positive effects on your health.
If you want to make the most of the beneficial effect of apples on health, eat them with the skin. The skin of apples contains half of the total amount of fiber in apples and a large amount of polyphenols.
2. Apples can help with weight loss
Apples contain a large amount of fiber and water, which are two substances that help alleviate hunger and increase satiety.
Participants in one study who ate apple slices before meals felt richer than those who drank apple juice, apple juice, or did not eat apples at all.
The same study confirmed that participants who were the first to eat apple slices with a main meal ate an average of 200 calories less than those who did not eat apples.
Another study involved 50 overweight women who included either apples or oatmeal cookies in their diet for 10 weeks. Both meals contained the same amount of fiber and the same number of calories. Women who ate apples lost an average of 1 kg and ate fewer calories overall.
Researchers believe that apples can feed better because they contain fewer calories and at the same time they contain a large amount of fiber, which fills the stomach with a large volume of food, which leads to an increase in satiety.
In addition, apples contain other natural substances that help with weight loss.
A study in overweight laboratory mice found that mice taking a grated apple supplement and apple juice concentrate lost more weight and had lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol compared with controls.
3. Apples benefit your heart
Apples can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
One of the reasons why apples reduce the risk of heart disease is that they contain water-soluble fiber that helps lower blood cholesterol .
In addition, they contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant effects . Most fiber and polyphenols are found in the skin of apples. Therefore, it is best to consume apples with their skin.
One of the polyphenols that can lower blood pressure is a flavonoid called epicatechin.
Analysis of studies has shown that consuming larger amounts of flavonoids reduces the risk of stroke by up to 20% .
Flavonoids help prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering blood pressure, preventing the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, and acting as antioxidants.
Another study compared the effects of eating apples with statins (commonly used cholesterol-lowering medicines). Compared to statins, apples have been shown to be virtually as effective in reducing the risk of heart disease .
However, it must be acknowledged that this was not a controlled study, so these conclusions need to be taken with some caution.
Another study looked at the effect of fruits with white flesh (such as apples or pears) in reducing the risk of stroke, compared with vegetables. The results were surprising because for every 25 grams of apples consumed, the risk of having a stroke was reduced by 9%.
4. Apples reduce the risk of developing diabetes
The results of several studies indicate that eating apples reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes .
One large clinical study confirmed that consuming one apple a day reduced the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 28% (compared to people who do not eat apples at all). Consuming just a few apples a week has a similar protective effect.
The polyphenols found in apples appear to protect pancreatic beta cells from damage. Beta cells are responsible for the production of insulin and may be damaged in patients with type 2 diabetes.
5. Apples have pre-biotic effects and support the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut
Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic .Prebiotics serve as food for the body’s beneficial bacteria in the digestive tract.
Fiber is not absorbed in the small intestine during digestion, but passes to the large intestine, where it serves as food for the body’s beneficial bacteria and supports their growth and reproduction. In addition, pectin is broken down in the body into other beneficial substances, which then positively affect a number of other processes in the body.
New research shows that pectin is largely responsible for the positive effect of apples on weight loss, type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
6. The substances in apples can protect against cancer
Several studies have confirmed an association between apple consumption and reducing the risk of cancer.
For example, laboratory tests have been carried out on the effectiveness of individual substances in apples against cancer.
One study in women confirmed that eating apples reduced the risk of dying from cancer.
The anti-cancer effect of apples is based on their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.
7. Apples contain substances that help fight asthma
The antioxidants contained in apples protect the lungs from free radical damage.
One large study, involving more than 68,000 women, confirmed that women who consume the most apples have the lowest risk of developing asthma. It has been found that consuming about 15% of a large apple a day reduces the risk of developing asthma by up to 10%.
In the peel of apples there is a flavonoid called quercetin, which helps regulate the functioning of the immune system and reduces inflammation . As a result, quercetin is effective in preventing asthma and allergic reactions.
8. Apples improve bone health
Fruit consumption contributes to an increase in bone density, which is an important indicator of bone health .
Experts believe that the antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances that apples contain are responsible for the effects of apples on bone health.
Some studies have confirmed that eating apples can really have a positive effect on bone health.
One study compared the effects of different types of “apple diet” on bone health. The participants were divided into 4 groups, with one group eating whole apples with their skins, the other eating apples without their skins (peeled), the other consuming only apple juice and the last group did not eat apples at all. The results showed that women who ate whole apples, including the skin, excreted less calcium from the body than women in other groups.
9. Apples can protect your stomach from the side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (sometimes referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) are painkillers (such as Brufen or Ibuprofen) that can cause irritation and injury to the gastric mucosa.
Studies in the laboratory and in rats have shown that freeze-dried apple extract helps protect gastric mucosal cells from the side effects of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Substances which protect the gastric mucosa from damage are, in particular, chlorogenic acid and catechin, both of which are found in apples.
10. The antioxidants in apples protect your brain in old age
Scientific research focuses in particular on the effects of apple peel and pulp.
However, it has been shown that even apple juice can be effective against age-related degeneration of brain functions.
In animal studies, apple concentrate has been shown to reduce the concentration of free oxygen radicals in brain tissue and thus slow down the deterioration of brain function in later life .
Apple juice helps maintain adequate levels of acetylcholine in the brain. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter whose levels in the brain decrease with age. Its low level is often associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease .
Experts who performed research on rats and gave apple juice to older individuals found that the levels of acetylcholine in their brains returned to the levels of younger rats .
Just to be precise, apples in their natural form contain all the same substances as apple juice, and you will definitely do better if you consume apples whole and with their skins than in the form of apple juice. The skin contains nutrients that do not get into the juice or disappear from it during production.
Apples are very healthy and their consumption will help you prevent many diseases.
For best results, eat whole apples, including the skin.