What do apples do for you?

In this brief guide, we will answer the query, “What do apples do for you?” and will discuss some benefits of eating apples to health.

What do apples do for you?

Apples can do a lot for you. It is good for weight loss, heart health, and gut microbiota. Apples also reduce the risk of diabetes and cancer. An apple a day keeps the doctor away since it is packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Antioxidants are also found in abundance.

A major class of phytochemicals found commonly in fruits and vegetables are the flavonoids. Apples are a very significant source of flavonoids in people’s diet in the US and in Europe (1).

Apples Could Help You Lose Weight

Apples are a good source of fiber and water, which makes them a good choice for a full snack. Those who ate apple slices before a meal felt more satisfied than those who ate applesauce, apple juice, or no apple products.

People who ate apple slices at the beginning of their meal consumed an average of 200 fewer calories than those who did not, according to the same research. It was found that women who ate apples for 10 weeks lost an average of two pounds (one kilogram) and consumed fewer calories daily than women who consumed the same number of calories but were fed oat cookies instead (1).

Researchers believe that apples are more full because they are less energy-dense, but they still provide fiber and bulk, which makes them more satisfying.

Some of the natural substances in them may also help you shed pounds. Those given a supplement of powdered apples and apple juice concentrate lost more weight and had lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol than the control group, according to new research.

Apples are rich in fibers. Consumption of 100 g of apple pomace can provide approximately half of an individual’s recommended daily fiber intake. In a study, young, male Wistar rats were fed with a standard rodent diet containing 5% diet weight fiber-rich colloids isolated from apple pomace extraction juice. After 6 weeks, the rats fed fiber-rich colloids from apple pomace had significantly reduced serum total cholesterol and LDL and increased serum HDL (2). 

For Your Heart, Apples May Be a Good Idea

People who eat a lot of apples are less likely to get heart disease. Apples include soluble fiber, which has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels in the bloodstream. Polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties, are also found in these foods. The peel has several of them.

It is possible that the flavonoid epicatechin, which is found in several of these polyphenols, can reduce blood pressure. Flavonoids have been related to a 20% decreased risk of stroke, according to a review of research. Apple consumption was also inversely associated with death from coronary heart disease in postmenopausal women in a study of nearly 35,000 women in Iowa. The intakes of catechin and epicatechin, both constituents of apples, were strongly inversely associated with coronary heart disease death (1). 

By decreasing blood pressure, reducing “bad” LDL oxidation, and acting as antioxidants, flavonoids may help prevent heart disease. It has been shown that eating one apple daily may reduce the risk of mortality from heart disease nearly as much as using statins, a family of medications known to decrease cholesterol.

Scientists affirm that polyphenols, together with pectin, the main soluble fiber in apples and other cell wall components, reach the colon and undergo extensive bioconversion by colonic microbiota producing metabolites that may have local intestinal effects whilst in the gut, and systemic effects after absorption. Apple polyphenols and fiber may also beneficially modulate the gut microbiota composition and activity. The gut microbiota may serve as a potential novel target for the prevention of cardiovascular disease (3).

Diabetic Risk Is Reduced by Consuming apples

Apples have been associated with a decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes in several studies. This is due to several phytochemicals present in apples, but especially due to its high fiber content. Dietary fiber, a major substrate for colonic fermentation, plays an important role against the development of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes (3).

Apple polyphenols may help protect beta cells in your pancreas from injury. People with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have damaged beta cells, which create insulin, in their bodies. A study of 10,000 people, a reduced risk of Type II diabetes was associated with apple consumption. Higher quercetin intake, a major component of apple peels, was also associated with a decreased risk in type II diabetes (1).

Apples May Promote the Growth of Beneficial Bacteria in the Gut

As a prebiotic, pectin may be found in apples. Good bacteria in your digestive system are fed by this food. Fiber is not absorbed by the small intestine during digestion. Instead, it travels to the intestines, where it may encourage the development of beneficial microbes. It also breaks down into other beneficial chemicals that make their way back to your system. 

Besides pectin, a major proportion of the bioactive components in apples, including the high molecular weight polyphenols, escape absorption in the upper gastrointestinal tract and reach the large intestine relatively intact. There, they can be converted by the colonic microbiota to bioavailable and biologically active compounds with systemic effects, in addition to modulating microbial composition. Epidemiological studies have identified associations between frequent apple consumption and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease (3).

An Apple a Day May Prevent Cancer

Plant components in apples have been demonstrated to reduce the incidence of cancer in animal experiments. In addition, one researcher found that women who ate apples had a decreased risk of dying from cancer. Their anti-cancer properties may be due to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 

Several studies have specifically linked apple consumption with a reduced risk for cancer, especially lung cancer. In the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study, involving over 77,000 women, fruit and vegetable intake was associated with a 21% reduced risk in lung cancer risk in women. Very few of the individual fruits and vegetables examined had a significant effect on lung cancer risk in women, however apples were one of the individual fruits associated with a decreased risk in lung cancer (1).

Anti-Asthma Compounds Can Be Found in Apples

Your lungs may benefit from apples’ high levels of antioxidants, which may help to prevent oxidative damage. Researchers discovered that women who consumed the most apples had a lower chance of developing asthma. A 10 percent reduction in the risk of this disease was seen in those who consumed the equivalent of around 15 percent of a big apple daily.

A flavonoid found in apple skin called quercetin has been shown to decrease inflammation and assist regulate the immune system. Asthma and allergy responses may be affected in these two ways (1).

Bone health may be improved by eating apples

Bone density, a measure of bone health, is associated with the consumption of fruit. Some experts feel that fruit’s high levels of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances may help strengthen bones. Besides, apples are a good source of calcium and phosphorus, which are important for bone health, with adequate intake reducing the risk of osteoporosis (2).

Apples, according to some research, may have a beneficial effect on bone health. Apples, peeled apples, applesauce, or no apple products were served to women in one trial. Calcium excretion was lower in those who ate apples than those in the control group. Fruits and vegetables provide nutrients that are thought to be associated with improved bone health (vitamin C, potassium, magnesium, and vitamin K) in addition to producing alkaline metabolites that might improve bone health by reducing calcium excretion. Intake of fruits and vegetables is associated with improvement in bone mineral density and other bone markers in epidemiologic studies (4).

 Apples May Protect Your Brain

The skin and flesh of an apple are the subjects of most studies. It is possible, however, that apple juice may improve cognitive function in the elderly. Acidic reactive oxygen species (ROS) are decreased by juice concentrate in animal tests.

Acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that decreases with age, maybe preserved by drinking apple juice. Alzheimer’s disease has been related to a decrease in acetylcholine levels. Because cholinergic depletion is associated with impaired memory and reduced cognitive performance, and acetylcholine reduction in particular is associated with Alzheimer’s disease, there is potential importance in the ability of apple juice to maintain levels of this neurotransmitter. The memory of older rats was revived by feeding them entire apples, according to a study conducted by experts (4).

Whole apples provide the same health benefits as apple juice, but it is always better to consume your fruit in its natural state.

Other FAQs about Apples that you may be interested in.

How long does it take to grow apples?

How long does it take for apples to grow?

Where are most apples grown?

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the query, “What do apples do for you?” and discussed some benefits of eating apples to health.

References

  1. Boyer, J., Liu, R.H. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutr J, 2004, 3, 5. 
  2. Skinner, R. Chris, et al. A comprehensive analysis of the composition, health benefits, and safety of apple pomace. Nutr Rev, 2018, 76, 893-909.
  3. Koutsos, Athanasios, Kieran M. Tuohy, and Julie A. Lovegrove. Apples and cardiovascular health—is the gut microbiota a core consideration?. Nutrients, 2015, 7, 3959-3998.  
  4. Hyson DA. A comprehensive review of apples and apple components and their relationship to human health. Adv Nutr. 2011, 2, 408-420.