Apple | Its Health Benefits | Is Apple Good For Weight Loss?
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
~ Benjamin Franklin
Apple trees are deciduous trees from the rose family, and apples are the second most consumed fruit after bananas. Apple trees originated in central Asia and were grown in Asia and Europe for many years before Europeans brought them to America.
Apples are found in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows. Common varieties are Red Delicious, McIntosh, Crispin, Gala, Granny Smith, Fuji, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Golden Delicious.
Apples are predominantly water (85%), carbohydrates, fiber (soluble and insoluble), and sugar (primarily fructose). They contain vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, and a range of valuable antioxidants.
Scientists suggest that apples can improve lung strength, heart health, bone health, and brain health (reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss). They may also boost the immune system, improve gut health, and relieve asthma symptoms. 1https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/
Health Benefits Of Eating Apples
Apples possess various phytonutrients that benefit cancer, asthma, pulmonary dysfunction, cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, the decline of normal aging, weight, and diabetes. Let’s look at a few of these benefits in detail. 2https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5225682/
Apples And Cancer
Apples are a good source of antioxidants and beta-carotene. Studies show that consuming antioxidant-rich foods may help prevent oxidative stress that causes cell damage, leading to certain cancers. 3https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/diet/antioxidants-fact-sheet
A study published by Cambridge University in 2016 suggested that consuming apples may help lower the risk of lung cancer, breast cancer, and colorectal cancer. 4https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/public-health-nutrition/article/apple-intake-and-cancer-risk-a-systematic-review-and-metaanalysis-of-observational-studies/FA751EC6DB3CA3627E0218950AC106CC
Another study, done between 1991 and 2002 in Italy, also observed that those who consumed one or more apples a day had a 20% lower risk of colorectal cancer and an 18% lower risk of breast cancer. 5https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16091428/ Epidemiologists or disease detectives suggest that regular consumption of apples and apple products may be a helpful master plan for cancer prevention. 6https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18855307/, 7 https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15802299/, 8https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15769178/
Related Article: Phytonutrients Definition | Phytonutrients Foods And Chart
Can An Apple A Day Improve Heart Health?
Apart from insoluble fiber, apples also have soluble fiber, such as pectin, which helps prevent cholesterol from building up in blood vessels’ lining, preventing atherosclerosis and heart disease.
A study conducted in 2011 showed that women who ate about 75g (1/3 cup) of dried apples every day for at least six months had a 23% decrease in bad (LDL) cholesterol and a 4% rise in good (HDL) cholesterol. 9https://eurofir.eu/bacchus/wp-content/uploads/sites/5/2017/10/TIFTS-Nicola-P.-Bondonno-Catherine-P.-Bondonno-Natalie-C.-Ward-Jonathan-M.-Hodgson-Kevin-D.-Croft.pdf
Apples And Type-2 Diabetes
Studies suggest that consuming specific whole fruits, particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples, significantly correlates with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. 10https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3978819/
The American Diabetes Association recommends eating fresh fruit, including apples, to satisfy a sweet tooth and providing nutrition while keeping a watch on the fruit’s carbohydrate content. 11https://www.diabetes.org/nutrition/healthy-food-choices-made-easy/fruit?language_content_entity=en
Consumption of fruits high in soluble and insoluble fiber, like apples, is associated with improved glucose metabolism in diabetic and nondiabetic individuals. 12https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183591/
Is Apple Good For Weight Loss?
A study conducted to understand the relationship between fruit consumption and body weight change in overweight adult females concluded that consuming fruits, especially apples and pears, may contribute to weight loss. 13https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12620529/
Apples are loaded with vitamin C and soluble and insoluble fiber, especially in the skins. The insoluble fiber in apples provides bulk and slows digestion, helping one feel greater satisfaction after eating and hence can help in weight loss.
Related Article: What Is Fiber? Health Benefits, Food Sources And Daily Requirements
A research team led by Giuliana Noratto of the School of Food Science at Washington State University concluded that nondigestible compounds in Granny Smith apples might help prevent obesity. 14https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0308814614005251?via%3Dihub
Nutritional Facts Of Apples
All apples are yummy and healthy, but these are a few of the most adored varieties people include in their diet, either raw, in baking, cooked as a jam, as fresh juice, or in a smoothie.
Golden Delicious Apples
They are bright, cheery, soft, thin-skinned, and rich in vitamin C and antioxidants. As they are difficult to store, they are ideal for pies, salads, sauces, and freezing. They may boost immunity, help form collagen, and accelerate the wound-healing process.
Granny Smith Apples
These are one favorite type of green apple with bright skin, a rigid feel, and a very tart taste. They are a perfect complement to savory foods such as meats, onions, and cheese, and their green skin provides a unique visual element to any dish.
These apples are an excellent fiber and vitamin C source and have high water content, helping one stay full and hydrated. They can help with weight loss.
Red Delicious Apples
They are one of the most popular apple varieties with a bright red outer layer and creamy white juicy interior. They are soft apples and not right for cooking. It’s best to eat them raw, and they are ideal lunchbox snacks.
Red Delicious apples have slightly more fiber, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin K than other apples. Most of the nutrients lie in the skin of the apple.
Not a variety but are becoming a popular choice, as consumers are more interested in the food production process. Many consumers prefer to buy organic produce to lower exposure to pesticides and wax.
Possible Risks Of Eating Apples
Although apples have health benefits, eating too many can result in weight gain.
Apples top the highest list of fruits in pesticide residues as they are particularly prone to bugs and disease. They are generally washed before being sold, but pesticide residues may remain.
Waxing Of Apples
Once apples are picked, they are washed to remove dirt and chemical residues. This process also removes the natural wax, called the cuticle, which is not ideal because it keeps moisture from escaping. Therefore, to retain moisture and make apples look fresh straight from the farm, they are waxed artificially either manually or by dipping or brushing.
Apples have been waxed for many years to improve appearance, and firmness, reduce moisture loss, prevent mold growth and physical damage, and increase shelf life. Apple producers and sellers use wax from animals like bees, vegetables like sugarcane or palm, and petroleum (the source of paraffin). 15https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1111/jfq.12065
Do not get too excited by very bright and perfect-looking fruits. Instead, buy local and seasonal fruits. Off-season fruits are more likely to be coated with wax. If money is not an issue, purchase organic apples, or buy them straight from the farm.
To remove pesticide residue, dirt, and wax, soak apples in a solution of one teaspoon of baking soda and two cups of water for 10-15 minutes, then rinse and wipe them well. While you can peel the apples before eating them, there will be a loss of nutrients as two-thirds of the fiber and many antioxidants are in the peel. 16https://www.ams.usda.gov/sites/default/files/media/2016PDPAnnualSummary.pdf.pdf
And, of course, remember, ‘An apple a day might keep the Doctor away.’ 🙂
What do you think about this article? Have any questions? Let me know in the comments below!
Powerful Community Building
Secure a certificate of completion in as little as a day by graduating from one of our free courses.
Fabulous Body Membership
Your All-Access Pass to A Fabulous Body & A Rewarding Career
25+ Certificate Courses & Programs, All Included
About Kamini Thakar
Kamini is a very skilled writer/content creator. As a part of Fabulous Body for years, she has authored many articles really proving her prowess in acquiring and presenting knowledge about various health & nutrition topics.