Apples are one of the most popular fruits — and for good reason. They are an exceptionally healthful fruit with many research-backed benefits. One medium apple contains only about 95 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 14% of the daily recommended vitamin C. Apples are also a rich source of polyphenols. Polyphenols are protective compounds available in many plant-based foods that offer many health benefits when we consume them. While nutrition labels do not list these plant compounds, they are likely responsible for many of the health benefits. Read on for more benefits of adding apples to your diet.
- Apples Can Be Helpful for Weight Loss. Apples are high in fiber and water — two qualities that help satisfy hunger.
- Healthy Heart. Apple intake has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. One reason may be that apples contain soluble fiber which is the type of fiber that can help lower your blood cholesterol levels.
- Apples Promote Good Gut Bacteria. Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut. The good gut bacteria help protect against obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
- A Boost for you Immune System. Apples are a good source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system. Adequate vitamin C is also essential for keeping your skin healthy.
The Bottom Line
Overall research shows benefits in the management of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, and the ability to maintain or achieve a healthful weight when apples are a part of the diet. To get the most out of apples, leave the skin on — it contains half of the fiber and many of the protective health benefits. If apples are difficult to chew, try slicing thinly, adding chopped apple to oats prior to cooking, or simply sautéing apple slices on the stove top in a small amount of butter to soften them. You still get all the nutritious benefits and they taste great, too!
Adapted from Healthline and Harvard Newsletter, 2021.