An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Believe me, apples are worth this good reputation of being one of the healthiest fruits that have tons of health benefits. In general, fruits are nutritious and healthy and they are important to be included in your diet.
Today, apples are the star of the show. You can enjoy eating them as a healthy snack or even you can use them to make tasty desserts. Throughout this article, I will try to provide you with exciting information about apples and how nutritious they are.
How healthy are apples? Can diabetics eat apples? What is the best time to eat apples? And more questions will be answered in this article. Let’s Move on!
What are the popular types of apples?
Apples belong to the pome fruit family. They grow in temperate regions. There are over 7,000 varieties around the world. Red, yellow, and green are different colors of apples. The red apples are popular for their delicious taste. Here are some of the popular types of apples:
- Red Delicious
- Golden or Yellow Delicious
- Granny Smith
- Pink Lady
Nutrition facts of apples
Nutrition facts of one medium-sized apple according to VerywellFit.com:
- Calories: 104 calories
- Fat: 0.3 g
- Carbs: 27.6 g
- Sodium: 2 mg
- Fiber: 4.8 g
- Sugar: 20.8 g
- Protein: 0.5 g
- Vitamin A: 6 mcg
- Vitamin C: 9.2 mg
- Potassium: 214 mg
How healthy are apples?
Apples are loaded with a wide range of health benefits that support body health including:
Soluble fiber that exists in apples contributes to improving the blood flow in blood vessels by preventing cholesterol buildup in them.Phenolics from purple grape, apple, purple grape juice and apple juice prevent early atherosclerosis induced by an atherogenic diet in hamsters – PubMed (nih.gov)
Fiber plays an essential role in supporting healthy digestion. Apples contain two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, which are both important and healthful.Possible role for apple juice phenolic compounds in the acute modification of glucose tolerance and gastrointestinal hormone secretion in humans – Johnston – 2002 – Journal of the … Continue reading
Soluble fiber that dissolves in water contributes to slow down digestion, which helps suppress appetite by making you feel full and maintain your blood sugar level. On the other hand, insoluble fiber helps prevent constipation by promoting the digestive process.
- Immune system
The immune system is the defense line of the body against viruses and bad bacteria that cause many diseases.
Some animal studiesAnti-depressant natural flavonols modulate BDNF and beta amyloid in neurons and hippocampus of double TgAD mice – ScienceDirect have shown that fiber in apples promotes the anti-inflammatory cells and helps protect against flu. Furthermore, apples contain vitamin C, which is known for its important role in supporting immunity.
The presence of soluble fiber in apples helps slow down the absorption of sugar, which leads to regulating blood sugar levels and helps decrease insulin resistance, which helps stabilize blood sugar levels for people with type 2 diabetes.Associations of dietary flavonoids with risk of type 2 diabetes, and markers of insulin resistance and systemic inflammation in women: a prospective study and cross-sectional analysis – PubMed … Continue reading
Can we say an apple a day keeps cancer away? According to studies, the daily eating of apples could reduce the risk of different types of cancers including breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and other types.Does an apple a day keep the oncologist away? – PubMed (nih.gov)
The high levels of dietary fiber and polyphenol compounds help support gut health, which is related to reducing the risk of cancer. In addition, apples help lower the risk of breast cancer by reducing the estrogen receptor-negative. Polyphenols and antioxidants which are found in apples help reduce the risk of cancer formation by killing cancer cells. Apple intake is inversely associated with all-cause and disease-specific mortality in elderly women – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Brain health
Apples are rich in quercetin, which is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent brain cell oxidization, which damages brain cells. So eating apples, according to researchers, supports brain health and prevents memory loss. A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health – PMC (nih.gov)
- Lung health
The presence of the quercetin compound, which is a powerful antioxidant supports lung health and decreases lung damage, which is caused by smoking and slow lung function decline.Quercetin and Its Anti-Allergic Immune Response – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Bone health
Apples contain a flavonoid antioxidant, which supports bone health by improving bone density and improving bone strength for women after menopause. Furthermore, apples are rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and boron, which all promote bone health. Fruits and dietary phytochemicals in bone protection – PubMed (nih.gov)
- Heart health
Apples are rich in antioxidants, which play an important role in reducing bad cholesterol levels and blood pressure, which helps reduce the risk of heart disease.Apples and Cardiovascular Health—Is the Gut Microbiota a Core Consideration? – PMC (nih.gov)
In addition, apples contain vitamin C, which is essential in boosting immunity and reducing levels of c-reactive protein, and that leads to lowering the risk of heart disease. Flavonoid intake and the risk of cardiovascular disease in women – PubMed (nih.gov)
Furthermore, apples are heart-healthy fruit and that’s because they do not contain saturated fats or sodium. It’s known that eating large amounts of foods that contain saturated fats and sodium can cause health problems and especially, they are not healthy for the heart.Dietary antioxidant flavonoids and risk of coronary heart disease: the Zutphen Elderly Study – PubMed (nih.gov)
Also, the presence of potassium in apples helps lower blood pressure, which is linked to heart health.
Can apples help in weight loss?
Apples are a great snack, which is not only tasty but also healthy. They are full of healthy nutrients that will certainly enrich your diet and help you to lose weight.
Apples are low in calories which makes them a perfect snack. When eating healthy snacks instead of unhealthy ones that are full of empty calories. This is an important step to lose weight. Weight loss associated with a daily intake of three apples or three pears among overweight women – PubMed (nih.gov)
Water content also is important. Eating foods that contain high content of water help to increase the feeling of fullness and keep the body hydrated, which supports the health of all body organs and promotes weight loss.A low-energy-dense diet adding fruit reduces weight and energy intake in women – PubMed (nih.gov)
Since apples are rich in fiber, this helps to suppress appetite and reduce calorie intake, which leads to weight loss as well.Changes in Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Weight Change in United States Men and Women Followed for Up to 24 Years: Analysis from Three Prospective Cohort Studies – PubMed (nih.gov)
What are the best types of apples for weight loss?
All types of apples are healthful and can help in weight loss, but Granny Smith apples are considered the highest in fiber content, which helps feel full and as a result, you will eat less. Also, they contain less sugar compared to other types.
Are there side effects of eating apples?
- Eating the seeds of apples is not healthy since seeds contain small amounts of cyanide which is highly toxic. So, avoid eating apple seeds.
- Eating plenty of apples may damage your teeth. So, one or two apples are enough per day. Also, after eating apples rinse your mouse with water to avoid this problem
- Eating plenty of apples every day may cause diarrhea
- The skin of apples contains harmful pesticides, which are used during agriculture, which can be harmful. So, wash apples well with water to get rid of them.
Can diabetics eat apples?
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) recommends that diabetics should eat fruits and vegetables due to the healthy nutrients that are found in them that help support their overall health.
Apples contain sugar but most of it is fructose type, which has a minimal effect on blood sugar levels. In addition, fiber which is found in apples plays an important role in slowing down digestion and the absorption of carbs.Effect of Fructose on Glycemic Control in Diabetes | Diabetes Care (diabetesjournals.org)
Also, apples help improve insulin sensitivity. It’s recommended to include apples regularly for diabetics to help stabilize blood sugar levels.Impact of Dietary Polyphenols on Carbohydrate Metabolism – PMC (nih.gov)
- Eat the apple whole
It’s recommended to eat the apple whole without peeling the skin to get all health benefits.
- Eating apples instead of drinking apple juice
Apple juice is higher in sugar, and also does not contain fiber, which is important for diabetics.
- One apple a day is enough
It’s advisable for people with diabetes type 2 to eat one apple a day to avoid increasing their blood sugar levels.
Is it healthy to eat apples at night?
Eating apples at night is debatable. As we mentioned before they contain fiber which helps you feel full and avoid night hunger. In addition, fiber improves digestion and reduces the times that you go to the bathroom at night.
Apples contain potassium and vitamin B6 which both improve sleep quality. Also, the presence of vitamin C in apples helps sleep better.
On the other hand, they contain pectin which is difficult to digest at night, which may lead to acidity. Review article: prebiotics in the gastrointestinal tract – PubMed (nih.gov)
Finally, if you want to eat apples at night, it’s better to eat an apple before bedtime for 2 or 3 hours to get the health benefits without noisy symptoms.
What is the best time to eat apples?
The best time for eating apples is in the morning. First of all, pectin that is found in the skin of apples is difficult to digest. So, eating apples in the morning is better, especially for people who have digestive problems at night. The best thing you can do is eat an apple on an empty stomach.
Secondly, when you eat apples in the morning, your body will get the best benefits from them by eliminating bad cholesterol and improving metabolism activity.
Thirdly, the fiber in apples helps prevent constipation and regulate blood pressure. Additionally, The detoxifying properties that are in apples help cleanse and purify the body from toxins and improve skin health.
Finally, eating apples in the early hours of the morning provides your body with energy that will help you feel active throughout the day. And they are an excellent alternative to coffee in the morning. Furthermore, eating them contributes to boosting metabolism in the morning, which promotes weight loss, as a result.
Is it good to eat apples during pregnancy?
Fruits are very important to be included in the diet of pregnant women. Apples are super nutritious and full of health benefits that are essential for a healthy pregnancy. Besides the general health benefits of apples, eating apples carries special health benefits for pregnant women including:
- Preventing anemia
The presence of iron in apples helps prevent anemia, which is common to happen during pregnancy. Also, vitamin C helps absorb iron, and that leads to improving iron levels in the body.
- Reducing the chance of birth defects
Apples contain folate which is important during pregnancy to prevent birth defects.
- Preventing gestational diabetes
Eating apples regularly during pregnancy helps stabilize blood sugar which reduces the risk of developing gestational diabetes during pregnancy.
- Promoting healthy digestion
The problem of constipation is common during pregnancy and many pregnant women suffer from it, but eating apples regularly helps to reduce this problem and improve digestion.
Which is healthier: eating raw apples or cooked apples?
Both of them are healthy, but the best way to eat apples is to eat them raw. Cooking apples cause certain nutrients loss. On the other hand, stewed apples support gut health in a particular way. So, enjoy eating them raw or cooked and enjoy their health benefits.
Apples are a treasure of health benefits and tasty as well. Kids and adults like them and everyone prefers eating them in a different way. Whatever the way is, raw or cooked are healthy. It’s safe and healthy for pregnant women and diabetics as well. So, my advice to you, always involve apples in your diet and enjoy a healthy life.