20 Amazing Benefits Of Apple
What are Apples?
Apples (Malus domestica) are pomaceous fruits produced by apple tree that belongs to the Rosaceae family. Apples are some of the most popular and delicious fruits on the planet. There is nothing like biting into a bright, red, sweet, juicy apple to quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet tooth while boosting your health in a major way. There are more than 7,500 varieties of these delicious fruits and they come in a variety of colors namely red, yellow, and green.
The skin of apples is thin but sturdy and the inner flesh is thick and juicy, and it softens as it ripens. The inner core holds the seeds, which are dangerous for your health. The nutrients are in the flesh and the skin, which are a rich source of anthocyanins and tannins. It’s indeed true when they say, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away!’
Health Benefits of Apples
Mentioned below are the best health benefits of apples that actually help you in keeping the doctor away:
Apples contain pectin which is a type of fiber that acts like a probiotic. It specifically helps to improve the functioning of the bacteria living in our large intestine. Apples stimulate metabolism within the digestive tract and promote good bacteria in the gut. This prebiotic effect leads to an improved health by maximizing nutrient uptake and eliminating harmful bacteria and toxins.
Studies have shown that regular apple intake reduces the risk of thrombotic strokes in both men and women.
Apples are useful in treating anemia since they are a rich source of iron. By increasing the number of red blood cells in the body, apples not only prevent anemia but also ensure a proper oxygenation of essential organ systems. This results in enhanced blood circulation and proper functioning of the organ systems.
Boost Immune System
Apples rich in vitamin C, antioxidant compounds and protein can have a major role in preventing weakness, boosting immunity, and improving muscle tone. If you want to gain weight, apples should be a part of your daily diet. They also help in detoxifying the body and improving the overall health.
Blood sugar control is essential for people who suffer from diabetes and the polyphenols in apples have been directly linked to reducing the uptake of carbohydrates by the body. This, in turn, reduces the fluctuation of blood sugar levels that occur in the bloodstream, an important factor for keeping diabetes in check. The polyphenols also lower glucose absorption in our digestive tract and stimulate the release of insulin from our pancreas, which is also necessary to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Finally, the polyphenols stimulate the insulin receptors on cells throughout our body, which speeds up the removal of sugar from our bloodstream and gets it to our cells for metabolism and proper organ function.
Eating apple helps in cleaning both, the teeth and gums. When you eat apples, the fiber in them cleanses the teeth, while the antibacterial properties of this fruit keep bacteria and viruses from infecting the body. Apples also stimulate the secretion of saliva (an alkaline compound) which reduces the ability of bacteria to multiply and grow in your mouth. This is confirmed by a study published in the PLOS One journal.
A study conducted on rat brain cells by researchers at Cornell University in New York shows that the potent abundant antioxidants in apples protect brain cells against oxidative stress, associated with Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders. In terms of Parkinson’s, apples stop the gradual breakdown of dopamine-producing nerve cells, which can be an underlying cause of the disease.
Boost Brain Health
Apples increase the amount of acetylcholine in the brain, which is linked to improving concentration, problem-solving, and memory.
Apples have shown tremendous anti-inflammatory behavior and in terms of asthma, they have stood out among other natural treatments. Quercetin, a flavonoid present in the apple skin helps reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
Prevent Heart Diseases
Apples help lower the risk of heart stroke and various other heart ailments. The antioxidant property of apples reduces the oxidation of fats, called lipid peroxidation. It also neutralizes various fats found in blood vessels that can exert dangerous pressure. The flavonoid quercetin reduces inflammation in our blood vessels. The polyphenol epicatechin also lowers the blood pressure in the body
The soluble fiber present in apples helps to lower the level of cholesterol in the body, making it a strong defensive mechanism against cardiovasculardiseases. Eating apples every day results in a drastic decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and a slight increase in HDL (good) cholesterol in just three months. This is confirmed by a year-long study performed on 160 post-menopausal women by researchers at The Florida State University.
Improve Bone Health
Compounds like kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin present in apple have been linked to reducing inflammatory conditions like arthritis and gout. Thus, people suffering from rheumatism find apples very useful as they aid in the healing process.
Apples help to prevent conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. They also make the eyes stronger and improve eyesight and help in treating night blindness. Apples are rich in flavonoid compounds and antioxidant phytonutrients, which reduce the impact of free radicals on the eyes and prevent the various issues.
The water and fiber in apples make us feel and increase satiety, thereby reducing appetite and overeating. Apples actually speed up metabolism so that the additional calories consumed after eating an apple don’t register in our body. Meaning, they are burned off quicker, or not absorbed by the body at all, which can be a great news for millions of people struggling with obesity.
The powerful antioxidants in apples counteract the damaging effects of free radicals, which are directly linked to premature aging, wrinkles, age spots, and other age-related conditions.
Apples also increase circulation which keeps the skin looking young and toned. They stimulate the replacement of old cells, repair of the damaged ones, and prevention of acne. Pastes made of apple and honey or apple and milk increase the shine and glow of the skin when topically applied.
Protect From NSAIDs
Catechin and chlorogenic acid found in apples help protect the stomach lining from injury due to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These are a class of painkillers which may injure the stomach cells. Dr. Frank Hu, professor of nutrition and epidemiology in the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, considers blueberries, apples, and leafy greens as some of the important anti-inflammatory foods.
The rich source of pectin in apples helps in controlling excess cholesterol in the body, solidification of which results in gallstones.
Rich Source of Vitamin C
One large apple provides approximately 11% (for men) and 14% (for women) of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C. This essential vitamin helps increase the immunity against infections and diseases. The ascorbic acid reserves found in apple helps in collagen formation which provides a range of benefits for the skin.
The abundant fiber in apples helps in preventing constipation and straining too much pressure during excretion. Thus, they help alleviate hemorrhoids.
The vitamins, minerals, and fiber in apples help to flush all the toxins out of the liver.
Applying apple juice to scalp prevents dandruff. Washing the hair and finally rinsing it from apple juice gives it a healthy shiny look. It also acts as a good conditioner.
Uses of Apples
Apple can be used in different ways for different purposes as follows:
- Eat it: Apples can be eaten raw right off the tree or in a variety of dishes such as fruit salads and custards. These fruits can be baked, minced, mashed, frozen, or even dried into chips as a healthy, sweet snack.
- Drink it: Apple juice is also a common drink throughout the world and it is also included in many desserts.
- Apply it: The oil extracted from its seeds is also useful and has many applications especially in the cosmetic industry. The benefits of apple seed oil include reducing the appearance of acne, reducing wrinkles, and moisturizing the skin
How to Buy and Store Apples?
Here are a few tips for selecting and storing apples:
- When you buy apples, make sure they are firm.
- Don’t buy the ones that have wrinkles, since they have lost most of their health benefits and nutritional values.
- Do not select the ones that are unusually soft or bruised.
- Do not store apples that are overripe or are beginning to rot with the ones that are firm
Note: Ripe apples metabolize their nutritional resources by releasing a compound called ethylene gas. This ethylene gas can stimulate the rapid ripening and rot of other apples. So make sure to remove these ones from the bag of apples that you buy.
Apple Side Effects
There are a few side effects of eating apples. One should look out for the following:
- Poisoning: Apple seeds contain cyanide which is poisonous. Excess intake can be fatal. They should not be consumed orally but can be used for topical applications.
- Pregnancy and breastfeeding: Expecting and lactating mothers should avoid the intake of apple tea as it may harm the growing fetus as well as the infant.
- Allergy: Apple may cause allergic reactions in some people.
- Medication: Apple may interfere with certain medications. In such cases, talk to your doctor before adding apples to your diet.
- Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.
- A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds.
- A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
- Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.
- The world's largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976, in Rochester, NY. It was 172 feet, 4 inches long. (She was 16 years old at the time and grew up to be a sales manager for an apple tree nursery.)
- It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
- Apples account for 50 percent of the world's deciduous fruit tree production.
- The old saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” This saying comes from an old English adage, “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”
- Don't peel your apple. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.
- In 2005, United States consumers ate an average of 46.1 pounds of fresh apples and processed apple products. That's a lot of applesauce!
- Sixty-three percent of the 2005 U.S. apple crop was eaten as fresh fruit.
- In 2005, 36 percent of apples were processed into apple products; 18.6 percent of this is for juice and cider, two percent was dried, 2.5 percent was frozen, 12.2 percent was canned and 0.7 percent was fresh slices. Other uses were the making of baby food, apple butter or jelly and vinegar.
- The top apple producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan,Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.
- In 2006, 58% of apples produced in the United States were produced in Washington, 11% in New York, 8% in Michigan, 5% in Pennsylvania, 4% in California and 2% in Virginia.
- In 2005, there were 7,500 apple growers with orchards covering 379,000 acres.
- In 1998-90 the U.S. per capita fresh apple consumption was around 21 pounds.
- In 2005, the average United States consumer ate an estimated 16.9 pounds of fresh market apples
- Total apple production in the United States in 2005 was 234.9 million cartons valued at $1.9 billion.
- In 2006/2007 the People's Republic of China led the world in commercial apple production with 24,480,000 metric tons followed by the United States with 4,460,544 metric tons.
- In 2006/2007 commercial world production of apples was at 44,119,244 metric tons.
- Almost one out of every four apples harvested in the United States is exported.
- 35.7 million bushels of fresh market apples in 2005 were exported. That was 24 percent of the total U.S. fresh-market crop.
- The apple variety ‘Red Delicious' is the most widely grown in the United States with 62 million bushels harvested in 2005.
- Many apples after harvesting and cleaning have commercial grade wax applied. Waxes are made from natural ingredients.
- National Apple Month is the only national, generic apple promotion conducted in the United States. Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it was expanded in 1996 to a three-month promotional window from September through November.
- On August 21, 2007 the GoldRush apple was designated as the official Illinois’state fruit. GoldRush is a sweet-tart yellow apple with a long shelf life. The apple is also the state fruit of Minnesota, New York, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia