Whoever wrote the old adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has certainly spoken the words of truth! Apple is loaded with nature’s goodness to keep you away from diseases so you don’t have to visit the doctor too often. From aiding in better digestion to strengthening the immune system and even preventing many types of Cancers, there are ways in which this juicy fruit can improve your well-being. In this article, we shall learn a little more about the amazing apple benefits for health and skin which are backed with scientific evidence.
Apple Nutritional Benefits:
Before we explore the health benefits of apples, let us understand the nutritional profile of this fruit per 100 gms serving.
Total Calories – 52
- Total carbohydrates – 13.8 gm
- Dietary Fiber – 2.4 gm
- Sugars – 10.4 gm
- Total Fat – 0.2 gm
- Protein – 0.3 gm
- Vitamin K – 3% of DV
- Vitamin C – 8% of DV
- Vitamin B6 – 2% of DV
- Calcium – 1% of DV
- Potassium – 3% of DV
- Manganese – 2% of DV
- Water – 85.6 gm
Research-Based Apple Benefits for Health and Skin:
Here we enlisted 10 reasons why apples are considered one of the healthiest foods on the planet. Let’s look into the evidence-based health benefits of apples.
1. Aids In Weight Loss:
Including apples as part of a healthy diet plan and an active lifestyle can help you lose weight. Apples contain high amounts of dietary fibre and water content which can keep you satiated for long. A study shows that obese people who were fed with whole apples or apple juice for 4-12 weeks reported a significant amount of weight loss (1). It is noted that eating apples before meals can reduce your food intake without affecting the overall calorie count.
2. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels:
Apples may be particularly beneficial to patients with Type-2 Diabetes with several studies mentioning its ability to lower blood sugar levels. A particular study suggests that individuals who consumed 2-6 apples per week reported a 28% lowered risk of diabetes than those who did not (2). Scientists attribute this effect to the high amounts of polyphenols in apples which may protect pancreatic cells and tissues from oxidative damage.
3. Improves Gut Health:
Apples contain about 17% of soluble dietary fibre per 100gms serving, which helps in alleviating stomach problems like constipation, haemorrhoids due to hard stools, gall stones, indigestion, bloating etc. A 2015 study shows that Apples contain a type of fibre called Pectin which acts a prebiotic to support better growth of gut flora (3). Also, pectin works as a gelling agent that slows down digestion and increases better absorption of nutrients.
Note: Along with raw apple, you can also give cooked apples to young kids and babies to soothe their digestive system.
4. Apple Benefits For Heart:
A study shows that apples may reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases and associated problems in individuals. It is known that apples contain a type of soluble fibre called Pectin which has cholesterol-lowering properties (4). Additionally, the high amounts of flavonoids present in this fruit may also contribute to lowered mortality risk due to heart diseases.
See More: Types Of Apple Fruits
5. May Prevent Cancers:
Several studies have confirmed that apples may help in warding off different types of cancers in humans. A particular study shows that apples have a high concentration of phenolic compounds which reduce oxidative stress on the cells. It was also reported that women who consumed at least one serving of apple per day had a reduced risk of lung cancer (5). Another study reveals that Myricetin present in apples reduces the risk of prostate cancers in men (6).
6. Can Fight Respiratory Problems:
Respiratory problems like Asthma are caused due to oxidative stress in the lungs, which are constantly exposed to oxygen. Recent studies show that Apple juice may protect reduce the risk of Asthma with its antioxidant compounds (7). It is also known that Quercetin found in apples was more effective in reducing the incidence of Asthma compared to other flavonoid-rich fruits (8). This shows that increased apple intake may help you deal with chronic breathing problems.
7. May Strengthen Bones:
A study shows that eating a flavonoid-rich fruit like apple may improve bone quality and prevent bone loss and inflammation caused due to various bone-related diseases (9). A flavonoid called phloridzin present in apples is found to be effective in strengthening bones and improving the overall skeletal structure. This is one of the key health benefits of consuming apples regularly.
8. Whitens Teeth:
Biting into a crunchy apple may help in tooth whitening along with prevention of many dental problems. According to a 2018 study, apples contain a compound called Ellagic acid which acts as a bleaching agent to whiten teeth (10). Also, the mechanical action involving chewing of apples with skin may help in removing plaque on the teeth.
See More: Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits
9. May Reduce the Risk of Cataracts:
Studies show that apples contain high amounts of a flavonoid called Quercetin which has shown positive effects in minimizing the risk of age-related cataracts (11). This agent is known to protect the eye lens from oxidative stress by scavenging the free radicals.
10. Can Minimize Wrinkles on Skin:
A Korean study states that apple flesh and peels contain ethanol which has an anti-wrinkle and whitening effect on the skin (12). Additionally, the high amounts of antioxidants, collagen and elastin present in apples can fight free radicals that cause premature ageing signs like wrinkles, dark spots, pigmentation etc. To enjoy the benefits of apple for skin, you can combine the pulp with other ingredients like honey as a topical mask.
Apple Side Effects:
Though apples are largely free from side effects, there may be a few risks when consumed in excess:
- Weight gain (due to high fruit sugars)
- Loose stools
- Acidity and ulcers in the stomach
- Damage to tooth enamel due to the high acid content
- The pips contain cyanide which can be toxic to the body
See More: Apple During Pregnancy
Those are some of the unbelievable apple benefits for skin and health. To maximize its goodness, experts recommend eating the fruit along with the peel. But make sure there is no outer wax coating or pesticide layer on the skin before you sink your teeth into this tangy, juicy pulp!