An apple a day keeps the doctor away: It’s a “mommy” saying, but scientifically speaking, there’s some truth to it. If eating apples does not reduce the number of doctor visits, it is associated with taking fewer prescription medications, according to a study published in May 2015 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Apples are healthy foods that you should include more often in your diet. They contain important nutrients linked to disease protection, are portable and have their own natural food packaging. Since there are so many types of apples, chances are there is something for everyone.
The nutritional value of apples
A medium apple contains:
- 95 calories
- Protein: 0.5 grams (g)
- Lipids: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 25g
- Fibre: 4 g (14% of the daily value, or DV)
- Vitamin C: 8 milligrams (mg) (9% Daily Value)
- Magnesium: 9 mg (2% DV)
- Potassium: 195 mg (4% Daily Value)
What are the benefits of eating apples?
Apples are a good source of fiber, as well as vitamin C, which supports the immune system, and potassium, which is good for the heart. With only around 100 calories, they are a great addition to most diets.
What are the side effects of eating apples?
There are no general side effects. If you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), you may be following a low FODMAP diet to identify trigger foods, which vary by individual. Apples are not a low FODMAP food and can cause gastrointestinal issues such as bloating in these people.
What is the healthiest apple?
Eat the apple you like the most. An earlier study identified Red Delicious, Northern Spy, and Ida Red varieties as having the highest levels of antioxidants, which may reduce disease risk. However, you will reap the rewards of any apple you eat. Just be sure to keep the skin on to get the best value.
Is it bad to eat more than one apple a day?
If apples make you feel good and you enjoy them, you can eat more than one a day. Diets that contain a mix of plant foods provide a range of plant compounds like antioxidants, so it’s important to have a varied diet.
Are apples good for weight loss?
Yes. A review of the research, which included data from five human trials, concluded that apples are associated with weight loss. Apples are low in calories and a good source of fiber that helps fill you up. It may also help people be more successful in dieting.
The health benefits of apples
For such a small fruit, apples are very beneficial to health and can contribute to the following aspects:
1 Disease prevention
Apples are packed with a variety of disease-fighting phytochemicals. Many lifestyle factors, such as stress, lack of sleep or sitting too much, harm your health and generate free radicals. Of course, an apple alone can’t offset any of these factors, but adding antioxidants to your diet will help boost your body’s defenses against diseases like cancer.
2 Immunity Support
In addition, apples contain vitamin C (one medium-sized fruit contains 9% of your recommended daily allowance). It’s not as much as an orange, but vitamin C is important for the immune system. Since maintaining a healthy immune system is likely to be a major concern as winter approaches, when cold and flu season is in full swing, any extra C intake is helpful.
3 Support Blood Sugar, Heart, and Gut Health
Finally, apples are impressive with their 4 g of fiber. This comes from a combination of insoluble fiber (from the skin) and soluble fiber (from the pectin in apples). Fiber in general slows digestion to help maintain blood sugar balance. Insoluble fiber will promote regular bowel movement, while pectin is associated with both cardiovascular and gut health, according to research published in June 2015 in the journal Nutrients.
4 The effects of apple on weight loss
Apples have a few good points to make for a weight loss diet: They’re low in calories (less than 100 in an average fruit) and contain 14% of the daily value of fiber per serving. Not only does the fiber fill you up, but you have to spend time chewing the apple. The more you chew and the longer it takes you to eat, the fuller you are. For best effect, eat an apple whole rather than sliced. Ditch the cakes, cookies and candies. Eating natural with your treats increases fiber intake, which aids weight loss, and gives you other health benefits.Learn more
How to choose and store apples
Now you know that apples can be good for your health, but how do you make sure you choose the best fruits and do everything you can to maintain their texture and flavor?
Tips for picking apples
To find the tastiest apples in the store or at the farmers’ market, choose those that have shiny skins and are firm to the touch. Do not eat bruised or holed apples.
Tips for keeping apples fresh
Apples can be stored in the pantry at room temperature for five to seven days or in the refrigerator for one to two months. Better to keep them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator to prolong their shelf life.
Other uses of apples
Apples are best eaten, but you can also use them in a number of ways, including boiling them in water with spices to add a nice fall scent to your home, using them as stamps for crafts children, or placing them in a bowl on your table as decoration.
Side effects of apples
If you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), apples can trigger the bloating and abdominal pain characteristic of this condition. This is because apples contain a high amount of fructose. Apples are to be avoided if you follow a low FODMAP diet. This type of diet is very restrictive, and you definitely wouldn’t want to eliminate apples if you don’t have to. That’s why working with a knowledgeable registered dietitian can help you figure out which foods to avoid for your digestive comfort.
Another important point to note: although apples contain 25 g of carbohydrates per medium-sized fruit, if you have type 2 diabetes, you can still include apples in your diet.
A final word on apples
Apples are a classic, everyday snack that you should eat throughout your life. Not only are they a natural source of delicious treats, but they’re also a good source of fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals that may play a role in gut and heart health and immune function.