Apples are among the world’s most popular fruits with immense health benefits and it is also one of the most consumed fruits with high nutritional value. Native to Central Asia, apples grow on Malus Domestica and are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Considering their low-calorie value, they are also rather filling. Apple comes in many varieties, like Red Delicious, Fuji, or Gala, and tangy green ones like Granny Smith among many others. Doctors often recommend apples to their patients for their numerous health benefits and the rich nutritional value they have.
Nutrition in Apple
One medium 7-ounce or approximately 200-grams of apple serving offers:
- Calories: 104
- Carbs: 28 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Vitamin C: 10% of the Daily Value
- Copper: 6% of the Daily Value
- Potassium: 5% of the Daily Value
- Vitamin K: 4% of the Daily Value
Vitamins E, B1, and B6 contribute to 2–5 percent of the daily value in the same serving. Where vitamin B1 or popularly known as thiamine, is required for growth and development, vitamin B6 is required for protein metabolism and vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant.
Due to the presence of polyphenols, apples are also a good source of antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals. These damaging molecules are primarily responsible for chronic diseases like heart disease and cancer.
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Glycemic Index of Apple
Carbohydrates and water make up the majority of an apple’s composition. Despite their high carbohydrate and sugar content, they have a low glycemic index (GI), ranging from 29 to 44.
Notably, the glycemic index is a mathematical calculation of how any food influences the rise in blood sugar levels following a meal. Low GI levels are linked to a variety of health advantages.
Apples are mainly composed of carbs and water. They’re rich in simple sugars, such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose.
The GI is a measure of how food affects the rise in blood sugar levels after eating. Low values are associated with various health benefits.
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Health Benefits of Apple
It is for a reason that apples are called a ‘miracle fruit’. Full of nutrients and minerals, this crunchy, sweet fruit is the first choice of every fitness and health-conscious person. Loaded with the goodness of antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, apples are recommended to be taken every day to keep several ailments at bay. Regular consumption of apples is believed to lower the risk of some malignancies, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes.
Apple For Weight Loss
Two factors, high fiber, and low calories make apples a weight-loss-friendly meal. Thus, the benefits of apples include losing weight, especially if consumed in between or before meals. Due to its high fiber content, it keeps you full for a longer period of time and helps lose weight over time by lowering your daily calorie consumption.
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Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
One of the main benefits of Apples is that they decrease blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes. Some of the antioxidants and fiber present in apples also regulate the absorption and release of sugar in the blood. Majorly, the high content of the antioxidant polyphenols quercetin and phloridzin are responsible for this glucose regulation in the blood.
The anti-inflammatory properties of quercetin may help lower insulin resistance, which is a major risk factor for developing diabetes. Meanwhile, phloridzin is thought to be responsible for sugar absorption in the intestines, which in turn lowers blood sugar load and, as a result, lowers the risk of diabetes.
Eating one or more apples per day isn’t just a healthy lifestyle choice but it also lowers blood sugar levels and protects against diabetes.
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Apple for Asthma and Pulmonary Function
Apple can be helpful in treating asthma and taking overall care of our lungs. Many studies show that consuming apples may directly benefit in reducing the risk of asthma and help reduce bronchial hypersensitivity.
Apple Lowers Blood Cholesterol
Apple not just rules the heart but it also cures ailments related to the heart. It is found that eating an apple daily can lower cholesterol levels and decrease the chance of acquiring heart disease. Apples are also a good source of flavonoids, which help prevent heart disease by lowering blood pressure, reducing LDL cholesterol oxidation, and reducing atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in your arteries).
Apples are also rich in pectin, a soluble fiber that not just blocks the absorption of cholesterol in our body but also prompts it to utilize the waxy substance rather than storing it.
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Apple Protects Against Cancer
Apples are high in phytochemicals which are powerful antioxidants such as quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid that helps in protecting against lung and colon cancers. Not just apple but its peel also protects against cancer due to the presence of polyphenols- a type of antioxidant that protects the cells from free radicals.
Promotes Gut Health
The benefits of Apple include modifying gut microbiomes in a good way. An abundance of Pectin – a form of fiber that works as a prebiotic – in apples makes it good for your gut.
Pectin promotes good bacteria known as microbiota which is important for your overall health & well-being. In return, microbiota takes good care of our health and gut.
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In many delicacies like pies, cookies, muffins, jam, salads, oatmeal, or smoothies, apples are commonly used. Often eaten raw, apples also make a great snack and go best with nut butter in a sandwich.
Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwich
This heavenly sandwich made with a divine combo of Peanut Butter and Apple makes a nutritional snack. The nutritional qualities of apples & peanuts are essential for our overall health. They also help to reduce inflammation, promote heart health, and control blood sugar levels.
To make this delicious sandwich you’ll require:
- Whole wheat bread: 2 slices
- Peanut butter: 1 tablespoon
- Apple: 1 small, peeled, cored, and shredded
Instructions for Making an Apple-Peanut Butter Sandwich
Step 1: Apply a generous amount of peanut butter onto one side of each slice of bread.
Step 2: Now place the shredded apple on top of the peanut butter, and place the layered sides of the bread facing each other. Serve this freshly made sandwich immediately.
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Apple Tart Recipe
To enjoy this crisp cinnamon-flavor apple tart made with apricot jam you need
- Puff pastry: 175 gms thinly rolled into a circle 30 cm in diameter Butter: 30 g, cut into cubes
- Green apples: 3, peeled
- Sugar: 1-1/2 tablespoon
- Apricot jam or marmalade: 1-1/2 tablespoon
- Green apples: 2, peeled and diced
- Cinnamon powder: 1/2 tablespoon
- Sugar: 85 grams
To Prepare Apple filling
Place the chopped apples in a large saucepan over medium heat, along with sugar. Keep stirring the mixture till it thickens and forms a gel-like texture. Now remove it from the heat and add the cinnamon powder.
Instructions to Make Apple Tart
- Start the preparation by preheating the oven to 230°C.
- Cut off the sides of peeled apples without cutting into the core.
- Now cut all the apple pieces into thin wedges.
- Place the puff pastry circle on a baking dish and evenly pour the apple filling on it.
- Now, garnish the apple wedges in a circle and sprinkle a little sugar over the top of the tart.
- Place cubes of butter on it.
- Now place this piece of art into the preheated oven and bake for around 25 minutes, and then take your tart out.
- In a small saucepan, mix the apricot jam or marmalade with 2-3 tablespoons of water. Heat this on a medium flame and stir till the jam liquefies. Then turn the heat off.
- To give it a glazed, shiny look and some flavor, evenly spread this liquefied jam on the surface of the tart with the help of a brush.
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Apple Cinnamon Muffins Recipe
Nothing can beat this nutrition-rich, sweet-spicy flavored breakfast. To make apple cinnamon muffin you will need:
- All-purpose flour: 3 Cups
- Sugar: 1-3/4 cups
- Baking powder: 3-1/2 tablespoon
- Salt: 1/2 tablespoon
- Orange zest: 1/2 tablespoon, grated
- Ground nutmeg: 1/4 tablespoon
- Butter or margarine: 1 cup
- Apples: 1 cup peeled, cored, and grated
- Vanilla yogurt: 8 oz low fat
- Eggs: 2 large, beaten
- Ground cinnamon: 1 tablespoon
Directions to Make Apple Cinnamon Muffins
- Preheat your oven to 180 °C.
- Prepare by greasing your 7.5-cm muffin pan cups or by lining them with paper liners.
- Mix all-purpose flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, orange zest, and nutmeg into a bowl.
- Now add 3/4 cup of butter to this mixture and blend it with a pastry blender or fork till it becomes crumbly.
- In a medium bowl mix apple, yogurt, and eggs.
- Add this to the flour mixture, and fold it in to make a paste. Scoop the batter into prepared muffin cups and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or check by pressing the center.
- Set aside the prepared muffins to cool down for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter.
- And in a separate bowl, mix the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar and cinnamon powder.
- Now brush this on the tops of muffins and roll the top of the muffins in the cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Serve your little bundle of joy to your guests or put it in an airtight container to enjoy later.
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Side Effects of Apples
Overconsumption of anything can lead to problems even though it has all the right contents for your health and apples are not any different. Too much munching on apples can lead to high sugar levels in the blood, bloating, and diarrhea, and it can even put you on a higher side of the weighing scale.
Blood Sugar Levels may Fluctuate
Despite the low glycemic index and glycemic load, consuming too many apples is likely to spike glucose levels in the blood as it is rich in carbohydrates. Too much sugar, even in the form of fruits, can make diabetics’ insulin sensitivity worse and interfere with their medication’s effectiveness.
Apple improves our digestive health because of its rich fiber content but excess consumption of it causes bloating & constipation. Also, it affects the mineral & vitamin absorption ability of the body.
We need 20 to 40gms fiber in our daily diet whereas consumption of more than 70gm fiber is considered excess/going overboard. Since 15 apples have such fiber content, it is highly unlikely to eat 15 apples in a single sitting.
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Can Diabetics Eat Apples?
Apples are rich in carbohydrate, fiber & mineral content and are considered an excellent snack. Despite the presence of carbs, apples are still low on the glycemic index and glycemic load, which means it has a low effect on blood sugar levels, thus qualifying them as a diabetic-friendly fruit.
However, eating too many apples can influence blood glucose levels in diabetics, therefore they should consume only one serving (1 small apple) at a time.
Notably, the total carbohydrate content in a regular apple is 28 grams. To make it more diabetic friendly you can combine apples with foods like low-fat yogurt or low-fat milk further reducing the overall glycemic load of the recipe.
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Apple is a miracle fruit because of its hidden nutritional value that lowers the risk of chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, and asthma. Apples have significant antioxidant activity and can prevent cancer cell growth, reduce lipid oxidation, and lower cholesterol, which could explain their role in lowering the risk of chronic disease.
Apples have potent antioxidant & anticancer properties because of the presence of a diverse range of phytochemicals in them. It could also help in losing weight and are a great choice for people who want to eat healthily.
Can we eat apples in the morning on an empty stomach?
Ayurveda discourages the consumption of apples on an empty stomach as it might make you feel bloated and constipated. As per the ancient medical journal, apples should be eaten one hour after breakfast or one hour after lunch.
Which vitamin is found in apples?
Apples are high in vitamin C and potassium. They house vitamin K, vitamin B6, manganese, and copper but in a small quantity. A medium-sized apple makes up for more than 3% of the Daily Value.
Do apples have protein?
A good source of vitamin C and fiber, apples also don’t offer protein. In one medium apple, there are about 100 calories. Apples are also low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol yet they are rich in antioxidants that fight off free radicals and give many health benefits.
Are yellow apples good for health?
Delicious yellow apples are relished for their sweetness and several health benefits. Rich in polyphenols, yellow apples are believed to fight chronic diseases. Even the peels of yellow apples have many medicinal properties. The peel is made up of dietary fiber, mainly insoluble fiber, which helps in reducing weight.
Last Updated on by Dr. Damanjit Duggal
The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.