26 Apple Health Benefits
Apples are considered to be among the healthiest food sources. It is one of the most cultivated and most consumed fruit worldwide. It is a rich source of fiber, Vitamin C, antioxidants, dietary fiber, and flavonoids. They are also very low in calories. They have a very faint trace of sodium and contain no fat or cholesterol. Apples are available throughout the year. They have a variety of health benefits.
Health Benefits of Apples
Rich in Antioxidants
Apples are a rich source of antioxidants like polyphenols and flavonoids. Antioxidants help in preventing cancer. They help in stabilizing highly reactive free radicals which could otherwise be instrumental in damaging our DNA and start the process of cancer development.
Antioxidants also play a role in keeping the heart healthy. They protect blood vessels. Polyphenols are present in the fruit as well as the apple skin Both may be consumed provided the skin is washed properly to get rid of pesticides if any.
Apples are very crunchy while being eaten, hence they act like a toothbrush because as they are being chewed, they help to scrub and remove stubborn stains. Apples act as an astringent as they are mildly acidic. This astringent quality helps to cleanse and brighten teeth. This happens when Apples are regularly consumed over a period of time. Of course, very bad teeth cannot turn into shiny white teeth.
Chewing of an apple regularly helps in slowing down tooth decay. When it becomes a habit, mouth starts to produce more and more saliva and this is due to the tenderness and sweetness of the inside of the apple. Saliva has the neutralizing effect on the acids produced by the plaque bacteria. More production of saliva means the surface of the teeth is well protected. Only natural sugars are present in apples. Bacterial hence does not get attracted to the remnants of food between the teeth.
Prevent Alzheimer’s Disease
Research shows that consuming an apple regularly or consuming apple juice improves memory. Apples contain high levels of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Acetylcholine plays a major role in memory, concentration, and problem-solving.
Neurotransmitters play a very crucial role in brain health are especially memorable. They are chemicals produced by nerve cells when messages are transmitted from one nerve cell to another. They are very critical for good memory. Neurotransmitters slow down the mental aging and prevent problems related to memory loss. This could be very crucial in tackling problems related to Alzheimer’s.
Protection from Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s disease, also known as PD, is a neurological disorder. All the muscle movements in the body are coordinated and smooth and this is made possible by a substance called Dopamine. The brain produces a substance called Dopamine and it is produced in the ‘substantia nigral’ region. The cells of this region start to die and symptoms of Parkinson’s start to set it.
Apples contain a high concentration of antioxidants which can prevent dopamine-producing cells from breaking down. It helps in prevention of Parkinson’s disease and also slows down the process if the disease has already set in.
Apple extracts reduce the damage done to the neurons which are the nerve cells in the brain and spine. Normally the patients suffering from Parkinson’s are very stressed and apple extracts prevent toxicity in neurons. Apples offer protection to the neuron cells and slow down the nerve degeneration.
Apples contain high amounts of fibers within them. When fibers are included in the diet on a regular basis, it helps to fight cancer and also prevent any form of cancer. Apples contain flavonoids which are known to protect against pancreatic cancer. It reduces the risk of the occurrence of a tumor in the pancreas.
Apples contain triterpenoids which are present in the peel, and by consuming the peel we can risk any tumor from occurring or appearing. Of course, the peels need to be washed thoroughly before consuming to get rid of pesticides if any.
Apples also contain an antioxidant called Cyanidins which is helpful in killing the cancer cells, especially in cases of Colon Cancer. Cyanidins protect the DNA from damage.
Recent reports suggest that regular consumption of apples could prevent breast cancer. This is due to the presence of compounds called phenolics.
The antioxidant composition in apples is very effective in lowering the risk of lung cancer. It also reduces the lung cancer and slows down the spread of it, if it occurs. Thus, the various properties of apples like antioxidant activity, anti-inflammatory, and antimutagenic mechanisms, make the apple to be very effective against prevention of cancer and also helps in slowing down the spreading of cancer in case it has already occurred.
Apples contain sugar but in the form of fructose. When apples are consumed as a whole fruit, fructose has very minimal or very little effect on blood sugar levels. Apples also contain fiber which helps to slow down digestion and also slows down the absorption of sugar. Hence sugar enters bloodstream very slowly and there is no rapid rise in the blood sugar levels.
Apples contain polyphenols which are plant compounds and these slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and helps to lower sugar levels. Also, polyphenols stimulate the pancreas to produce Insulin and help cells to take in the sugar. Hence, they reduce the insulin resistance.
Apples score low on the glycemic index which indicates how it affects blood sugar levels. The low glycemic index indicates they cause a very minimal rise in blood sugar levels.
Diabetics can safely eat apples. Eating a whole apple has maximum benefits as most of the nutrients are present in the skin. Apple juice is not so effective as it is devoid of fiber and high on sugar. Moderation is necessary while consuming apples else it could cause a surge in blood sugar levels. One medium sized apple is recommended for diabetics and should be consumed after consulting the doctor.
Lower Cholesterol Levels
Regular consumption of apples daily for at least six months decreases the “bad cholesterol”, or otherwise known as LDL cholesterol. LDL cholesterol causes the arteries to harden and thicken as plaque builds inside the arteries. This causes a reduction in the blood flow to the heart and this could lead to heart diseases. Thus, apples help in preventing cardiovascular diseases.
Apples are very rich in a soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin makes the stomach feel very full fast and hence it significantly contributes to weight loss. If weight is under control, it contributes to cholesterol lowering.
- Aids in Digestion
When apples are consumed an hour prior to the meal, it encourages proper metabolism in the stomach and intestines and they are effectively able to absorb all the beneficial substances from the meals.
Apples are recommended as a part of the diet for those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Symptoms are constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and bloating. Doctors recommend high fiber foods to control these symptoms. Apples come in very handy here.
Fibers and pectin present in Apples help in the normal functioning of the intestines and help in the production of friendly bacteria or the beneficial bacteria which performs many essential functions like hormone metabolism, inflammation control, and detoxification.
The fiber found in apples can help both in constipation as well as in the treatment of diarrhea. It pulls water out of colon to stimulate bowel movement or it has the capacity to absorb excess water from stools to slow down bowels.
Apples contain a compound called quercetin which helps to boost the immune system. Quercetin is an antioxidant and helps to deal with stress due to immune suppression. Helps to fight invading diseases.
Apples contain soluble fiber, which reduces the inflammation associated with diseases related to obesity and hence strengthens the immune system. The soluble fiber causes an increase in the production of an anti-inflammatory protein.
Prevention of Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure in the pelvic and rectal areas and because of constipation. Hemorrhoids are veins which are swollen and can be very painful. High fiber foods like apples are recommended to tackle this. Apples help in the digestive process. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fibers. The soft fleshy inside of the apple contains soluble fiber, it binds with water and slows the process of digestion. Insoluble fiber is found in the peels of the apple. It stays as it is and makes the stools soft and adds bulk to stools. It also helps the food to pass thru the digestive tract easily. Regular consumption of apples ensures smooth bowel movements and hence prevention of constipation.
Apples contain significant portions of vitamin C, which is a water-soluble vitamin. Vitamin C is very important for the development of collagen in muscles, cartilage, bones and blood vessels. The vitamin C present in the apples helps absorb iron from other foods.
Vitamin C protects the cells and is an antioxidant. It also is very essential for a healthy lining of the digestive tract, breathing passages of the nose, throat, and lungs. It boosts the immune system in the body and resists viral infections.
Vitamin C is also used for the treatment of scurvy but it is important to eat the apple with the peel after it has been washed thoroughly. In postmenopausal women, Vitamin C helps to improve bone mineral density.
Vitamin C helps or promotes to produce a compound glutathione, which fights toxins in the liver. A healthy liver indicates strong bones and hence conditions like osteoporosis are prevented.
Fiber present in the apples helps to move toxins through the intestinal tract and prevents toxins from being circulated to the liver. Apples are very rich in pectin which is a soluble fiber and it helps to flush out toxins from the digestive tract. It also helps to remove cholesterol from the blood and thus liver is not overworked.
Apples also contain malic acid which removes carcinogens and other poisons from the blood and thus helps to detoxify the liver.
Apples help maintain a normal heart rhythm, as it increases potassium intake. Potassium is a mineral which dissolves in cellular fluid and it helps electricity to flow through the body.
Apples contain polyphenols which function as antioxidants. These antioxidants have the capacity to decrease the oxidation of the cell membrane fats. This is very important especially for the cardiovascular system as the oxidation of the fats in the membranes of the cells which line the blood vessels leads to clogging of the arteries and this is a major risk factor.
Apples are high in fiber content. With regular intake of fiber risk of coronary heart diseases drops. Apples are low in calories, an ideal choice for snacking. Being very high in nutrient content, they help to keep calories in balance and weight loss is prevented which in turn keeps the heart healthy.
Apples contain simple carbohydrates in the form of fructose, also known as fruit sugar. These carbohydrates break down quickly in the gut and provide immediate fuel to the body.
Apple juice contains minerals, like copper, iron, potassium, and manganese. Iron aids in improving the absorption of oxygen which in turn boosts the metabolic rate of the body.
The various antioxidants present in the apples increases the production of the good or the beneficial bacteria in the gut. These bacteria help in digestion of food and also prevent obesity and disorders associated with obesity.
Also, by consuming fibrous fruits like apples, it makes one feel very full and thus it reduces appetite and prevents overeating. Apples help in boosting the metabolism of the body so that any additional calories consumed after eating does not get absorbed or the body burns the calories very quickly.
The ursolic acid which is present in the apple skin boosts the burning of the calories and brown fat. Hence consuming apples on a regular basis not only prevents obesity it also helps in stimulating weight loss.
Apples contain vitamin B-complex which includes vitamin B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9. All these vitamins in apples strengthen the immune system, promotes healthy functioning of the brain, and improves the metabolism and digestion.
Vitamin B1 relieves stress and stimulates the immune system. Also necessary for metabolic reactions for the production of ATP (Adenosine triphosphate), the molecule which stores energy for the body.
Vitamin B2 helps in the synthesis of red blood cells and also eliminates harmful free radicals. It also plays an important part in the conversion of food to energy and stimulates growth hormone.
Vitamin B3 plays an important role in enhancing the function of the digestive system. Also helps to convert food to energy and in the healthy development of skin and nerves.
Vitamin B5 is very essential as it helps in hormone synthesis. Also plays an important role in the digestive process of food in the body.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in producing neurotransmitters due to which nerve cells are able to send and receive messages. It is also required for the production of hormones like serotonin, which is a mood enhancer and makes one feel very happy. Also required for the production of hormones like melatonin which helps to keep the biological clock of the body in sync with the outside world.
Vitamin B9 is required by the body to produce red blood cells and for the body cells to develop in a healthy way. Very essential particularly for pregnant women.
Lowers Risk of Stroke
A stroke occurs when the blood supply to the brain is suddenly cut off and the brain is deprived of oxygen. When this occurs, cells of the brain begin to die and the person suffering from stroke is affected depending on which part of the brain suffered damage and extent of brain damage. The person who has suffered stroke could be paralyzed or could have a speech disability.
Strokes can be prevented and apples form a part of the anti-stroke diet. Apples are packed with fiber which is beneficial for heart health and they contain the flavonoid quercetin which plays a major role in reducing inflammation. When inflammation occurs in the arteries, it leads to hardening of the arteries and is a risk factor for strokes and heart attacks.
Averts Respiratory Issues
Most of the respiratory ailments, like asthma, occur due to inflammation of the cells in the respiratory system. Asthma can even be fatal at times. Apples are very beneficial for asthmatic patients and help the lungs to function properly as they contain a compound called quercetin, which is present in the apple peel. Quercetin is an antioxidant and prevents inflammation of the cells and membranes in the respiratory system. Consuming of apples also tremendously increases the functioning capacity of the lungs.
Apples have a very unique combination of antioxidants, like flavonoids and polyphenols, and also some bone building minerals. Phlorizin which is a phytonutrient present in apples helps to improve bone density and also helps in reducing breaking of bones during menopause and after menopause. It provides protection against a condition called osteopenia.
Quercetin and myricetin are the flavonoids present in apples which help in reducing rheumatoid conditions like arthritis and gout.
The powerful antioxidants present in apples brings about shine and glow to the skin. When an apple slice is applied to the face, it hydrates the skin and also cleanses the skin. Apple, when mashed and applied on the skin, works like an exfoliant, removes the dead cells from the surface of the skin.
The antioxidants prevent premature aging and age spots; wrinkles are considerably reduced as they counteract the damaging effects of free radicals. Apples also protect from the harsh UV rays of the sun. When the mashed apple is mixed with a little glycerin and applied on the skin, it helps to cure sunburns and prevents the skin from peeling.
Antioxidants help the skin look young by keeping blood flow constant and this stimulates replacement of old and damaged cells. Apples act as a toner when applied on the face. When raw apple pulp or apple cider vinegar is applied, it helps to tighten the skin by stimulating blood circulation. Also helps to clean the skin pores of oil and balances the skin pH levels.
Apple slices or mashed apples mixed with grated potatoes when applied beneath the eyes reduces puffiness of the eyes or dark circles.
Magnesium present in apples is very essential as it is needed for the various biochemical reactions occurring in the body. Also, Magnesium plays a crucial role in the healthy functioning of nerves and muscles. Magnesium helps to build muscle. It also plays a crucial role in the protein synthesis.
Magnesium plays an important role in baby’s growth during pregnancy. It prevents the occurrence of cerebral palsy in the babies. Magnesium is prescribed as a supplement during pregnancy as it is a stress buster and is a remedy for insomnia.
Magnesium present in apples also helps to treat muscle pains, ease tension, and migraines. It helps in relaxing the blood vessels which are constricted and prevents the buildup of lactic acid which can cause tension and leads to a migraine. Magnesium functions as a muscle relaxant. It helps to ease cramps and pains caused by premenstrual syndrome. Also helps in tackling mood swings. Magnesium plays an important role in optimizing blood pressure levels and improves the pain tolerance threshold.
Potassium present in the apples is a very important mineral and is very beneficial for heart and kidney disorders. It plays an important role in regulating blood pressure. Also, it helps in maintaining water and electrolyte balance in the body. Potassium helps to maintain an optimal fluid balance in the body which is very important for all the organs to function properly.
Vitamin A present in apples is very beneficial for the eyes. Deficiency of the same can lead to thickening of the cornea and eventually leads to blindness. Keratomalacia occurs and leads to night blindness and extreme dryness of the eyes. Corneas start to soften and get infected leads to degenerative tissue changes. Vitamin A is a part of rhodopsin molecule which gets activated when light shines on the retina and a signal is sent to the brain and results in vision.
Vitamin A also plays an important role in skin development and reduces the risk of skin cancer. Deficiency in Vitamin A leads to drying, scaling, and follicular thickening of the skin. Skin keratinization takes place skin becomes hard and dry.
Vitamin A present in apples is very important for the normal development of children and to prevent infections. Deficiency leads to growth retardation and infections.
Vitamin A also boosts the immune system of the body. Genes involved in immune responses are regulated by Vitamin A and is a need for fighting conditions like cancer and also common ailments like cold and flu.
Vitamin A present in apples has antioxidant properties which neutralize free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause tissue and cellular damage. Vitamin A intake lowers the risk of food allergies and inflammation.
Apples, when consumed regularly, stimulate hair growth as they contain the nutrient biotin. Biotin is considered to boost hair growth and helps to tackle hair loss. It helps to increase strength and thickness of hair strands.
Apples also contain procyanidin which helps in increasing the thickness of hair and prevents male balding. Antioxidants present in apples help to increase circulation to the scalp thus preventing hair loss.
Apples help to tackle scalp problems like dandruff. When final rinse of hair is done with apple juice it helps to get rid of dandruff and also brings a shine to the hair.
Treatment of Anemia
Apples are a rich source of iron. By consuming apples regularly, an increase in the number of red blood cells is seen in the body. This helps to prevent and treat anemia. Due to the increase in the number of red blood cells, all organ systems in the body receive the required amount of oxygen and blood circulation is enhanced. All organ systems function properly.
Pregnancy Health Benefits
Apples prevent the breakdown of DNA which is caused by the presence of free radicals. Apples are loaded with Vitamin C which is an antioxidant and fights toxins and free radicals. Free radicals can damage the health of expectant mother and fetus. Hence incorporating green apples into the diet is a safe way to prevent DNA breakdown.
Being overweight or excess weight gain during pregnancy can lead to high blood pressure levels and high cholesterol too. This could prove dangerous for the fetus. Green apples contain a lot of nutrients which help to maintain body weight and helps to curb sweet cravings.
The various minerals and vitamins present in the apple help in averting premature births, which is a result of excess bile secretion. Apples help to balance the bile secretion and hence expectant mothers must consume apples regularly.
Green apple juice is a rich source of Vitamin K which helps the blood to coagulate and clot. It has been seen that those who consumed green apple juice on a regular basis had better wound repairing and healing potential. This juice also helps women who have extremely heavy periods and it helps to bring bleeding under control.
Do you know of any other health benefits of apples? If so, comment below!