Apples contain a lot of benefits for our health and different body parts. Because apples are not just crunchy, sweet, and satisfying. As part of a smart diet, they can help protect against serious diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and more. Consider them your healthy secret weapon. Here we are going to discuss the benefits of apples and their side effects.
What’s the Benefits of Apples
Apples are a convenient package of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids (beneficial plant compounds) that provide a range of valuable health benefits.
Promotes Heart Health
Fruits and vegetables are the mainstays of a heart-healthy eating plan. Naturally low in sodium and high in potassium, plant foods prevent dangerous elevations in blood pressure. Whole apples are a good source of fiber, which is known to lower cholesterol levels. In addition, apples provide numerous anti-inflammatory compounds that reduce the overall risk of heart disease.
Regulates Blood Sugar
The fiber in apples slows down digestion, preventing a rapid rise in blood sugar levels after eating. General recommendations are to aim for 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed. That means an average 2,000-calorie meal plan should include at least 28 grams of fiber for optimal health.
Eating whole apples with the skin provides the most fiber (apple juice doesn’t contain any fiber). A medium apple has 4.8 grams of fiber, so eating an apple or two can help you work towards your daily total.
May Aid Cancer Prevention
Apples contain a powerful natural antioxidant, called quercetin. While quercetin effectively kills abnormal cells, it appears to leave healthy cells alone. Quercetin interrupts various phases of the cell cycle, inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in several types of tumors.
Prostate cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer all show promising benefits from quercetin. Consuming a diet rich in fruits and vegetables provides quercetin, along with other potent antioxidants for cancer prevention.
May Reduce Asthma Symptoms
Quercetin in apples is also beneficial for people with asthma. Studies show that quercetin suppresses inflammation and effectively reduces the severity of food allergies and respiratory issues. Including apples as part of a comprehensive treatment plan for asthma may be able to help you keep symptoms at bay.
May Support Weight Loss
Apples are a satisfying and nutritious snack that can help reduce cravings and manage appetite. In fact, apple consumption has been shown in several studies to help improve weight loss outcomes.
Choosing a fresh apple over processed snack foods is a great way to boost vitamin intake and reap the filling effects of soluble fiber. The high water content in apples also means you can have a large portion without overdoing it on calories.
Boosts Brain Health
A group of four large studies presented at the Alzheimer’s Association’s International Conference in 2017 adds to the evidence that eating a plant-based diet may help prevent dementia. In one of the studies, Swedish researchers following 2,000 people for six years found that those who stuck to a diet called the Nordic Prudent Dietary Pattern (NPDP) had better cognitive function than people who ate more fatty, processed foods. Among other things, the NPDP calls for eating plenty of non-root vegetables, plus pears, peaches and-you guessed its apples.
In another of the studies, healthy older adults who followed either the Mediterranean or MIND diet, both of which stress eating fresh fruits and vegetables, lowered their risk of dementia by 30 to 35 percent. The longer they followed the diet, the better their cognitive function. Experts point out that more research is needed, but the results look promising.
Lowers Your Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
The numbers speak for themselves. In an extensive review of studies, Tufts researchers noted a strong association between apple eating with diabetes prevention, finding that people who ate one or more apples a day had up to a 23% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than non-apple eaters. In another study of more than 38,000 healthy women, those who ate one or more apples a day had a 28 percent lower risk of type 2 diabetes than non-apple eaters. And in a review of data from more than 187,000 people involved in three long-term studies, Harvard researchers found that people who ate at least two servings a week of blueberries, grapes, and, yup, apples lowered their diabetes risk by 23 percent, compared to people who had one serving or less a month. Experts say the fruit’s fiber helps stabilize blood sugar. Flavonoids, a type of antioxidant, also play an important role.
Whiter, Healthier Teeth
Apples won’t replace your toothbrush, but biting and chewing an apple can stimulate the production of saliva in your mouth and reduce tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.
A study on the benefits of apples shows that drinking apple juice could keep Alzheimer’s away and fight the effects of aging on the brain. The mice in the study that were fed an apple-enhanced diet showed higher levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine and did better in maze tests than those on a regular diet.
Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile for it to remain as a liquid, so it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent among the obese. To prevent gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fiber (ahem, apples again) to help you control your weight and cholesterol levels.
Beat Diarrhea and Constipation
Whether you can’t go to the bathroom or you just can’t stop, the fiber found in apples can help. Fiber can either pull water out of your colon to keep things moving along when you’re backed up, or absorb excess water from your stool to slow your bowels down.
Neutralize Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
IBS is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating. To control these symptoms doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods. People with IBS understand all too well how food can make symptoms worse. (Related: These are the diet changes you need to make if you have IBS.)
Hemorrhoids are swollen veins in the anal canal. While not life-threatening, these veins can be very painful. They are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas. Part and parcel with controlling constipation, fiber can help keep your bowel movements regular and prevent you from straining too much when going to the bathroom.
Detoxify Your Liver
Your liver is responsible for clearing these toxins out of your body. Many doctors are skeptical of fad detox diets, saying they have the potential to do more harm than good. Luckily, one of the best (and easiest) things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is to incorporate fruits, like apples, into your diet.
200g Apple Nutrition
- Calories: 104
- Fat: 0.3g
- Sodium: 2mg
- Carbohydrates: 27.6g
- Fiber: 4.8g
- Sugars: 20.8g
- Protein: 0.5g
- Potassium: 214mg
- Vitamin C: 9.2mg
- Vitamin A: 6mcg
A medium apple has 27.6 grams of carbohydrates, with 4.8 grams of fiber and almost 21 grams of natural sugar. Apples have a low glycemic index between 34–38.
There is less than 1/2 gram of fat per medium-sized apple.
Apples are low in protein. A medium apple has just a 1/2 gram of protein.
Vitamins and Minerals
Apples are a good source of potassium and beta carotene. They provide some vitamin C, folate, magnesium, and calcium.
A medium, raw apple provides 104 calories. A small apple (165g) provides about 165 calories and a large apple (242g) provides 126 calories. A one-cup serving of apple slices provides about 65 calories.
Apple Side Effects
Fiber improves our digestive health but too much of it can backfire, leading to bloating and constipation. People need between 20 to 40 grams of fiber per day, depending on their age and gender. Going above 70 grams is considered going overboard.
Though for that one needs to eat 15 apples, it’s important to keep in mind the other sources of fiber in your daily diet. So, if you are having a healthy diet with more than two apples a day, it can lead to some serious digestive troubles.
Your Blood Sugar Levels May Fluctuate
Apples are highly rich in carbohydrates that can provide you with a burst of energy, which makes apples a perfect pre-workout snack. Apples also make you feel happy as it helps release ‘feel-good’ neurotransmitters like serotonin.
But having too many apples can lead to a blood sugar spike as it is rich in carbohydrates. For diabetic people, too much sugar even in the form of fruits can also worsen insulin sensitivity and interfere with the way their medication works.
You Might Consume Too Many Pesticides
Apples top the list of fruits and vegetables with the highest pesticide residue each year. Diphenylamine is a pesticide commonly found in apples, which means eating too many apples can lead to the intake of too many chemicals.
You Can Gain Weight
Apples are full of carbs that provide you with instant energy. But you’d be surprised to know that having too much of it can lead to weight gain. This is because the body burns carbs first, so eating too many apples can restrict your body from burning fat when it needs to lose weight.
It Can Damage Your Teeth
Apples are acidic and thus too much of them can damage your teeth, even more than sodas. You can avoid this by chewing apples with your back teeth or eating them alongside a meal as a snack. But as long as you do not go overboard and stick to one apple a day, you do not have to worry about your teeth.
It Can Put Extra Pressure On Your Intestines
Apples are not recommended for people who experience frequent bloating or have gastric issues. Apples rank higher in foods that have sugar, which is difficult to digest.
Is it healthy to eat an apple a day?
Apples are incredibly good for you, and eating them is linked to a lower risk of many major diseases, including diabetes and cancer. What's more, its soluble fiber content may promote weight loss and gut health. A medium apple equals 1.5 cups of fruit — which is 3/4 of the 2-cup daily recommendation for fruit.
How many apples should you eat a day?
On an average, a person can have one to two apples in a day. If you are having more than that, you can possibly experience some dangerous and uncomfortable side effects.
When should I eat an apple a day?
As per studies, you should eat an apple in the morning hours. This is because apples are rich in dietary fiber, pectin, which is found in its peel. Since most people have digestive issues due to improper sleep or late eating habits, apples right in the morning, after waking up is a good idea.
Can I eat apple at night?
It's true that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, because it contains pectin. Pectin helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, which means you should indulge in the forbidden fruit a lot. But once again, not at night.