4 Amazing Health Benefits of Apples

Updated on April 27, 2019
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Nen is a new online writer. Her articles often focus on health and nutritional science.

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Ever heard the expression, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away," then rolled your eyes in disbelief? If so, that's not surprising. The proverb is so common that it's easy to dismiss it. While we can’t say that apples are, in fact, the key to avoiding having to go to the doctor’s, they do provide you with some amazing health benefits.

4 Ways Apples Can Keep You Healthy

  1. An apple is rich in fibre and polyphenols.
  2. Dried apples have lower glycemic than other sweet foods.
  3. Apple cider vinegar reduces cholesterol.
  4. Probiotic apple slices improve digestion

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1. Fresh Apples Are Rich in Fibre and Polyphenols.

Taking a huge bite right into a fresh apple can be very satisfying. Like it as it is? Have it your way. Unprocessed, an apple is rich in fibre and polyphenols. If you want something to take care of your heart and blood vessels, these are good compounds to consider putting in your diet. The fibre in apples is known to lower cholesterol, as well as reducing weight gain by slowing down glucose absorption. Polyphenols, on the other hand, are well-known antioxidants. These prevent your tissues from being destroyed by free radicals that interrupt your cells’ performance.

The best part about eating fresh apples is that you get the benefits of both the polyphenols and the fibers. These are more effective when they are working together. Better to have all the help one can get, considering free radicals can be easily found in many of our beloved fried snacks.

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2. Dried Apples Lower Glycemic

Let's say that you've been eating an apple a day, but are getting tired of them. If so, you should consider eating dried apples, especially if you’re craving something sweeter. These are just as good for you as the fresh fruit.

As the name suggests, they're just a much drier version of an apple picked right from the tree. Dried apples can be made by simply placing apple slices in an oven (even if you don’t have one, there will always be sunny days to utilize).

The good thing about varying your diet with dried fruit is that it is as nutritionally beneficial as its fresh counterpart (even in smaller portions), so there is no need to worry about missing out on important vitamins and nutrients. While it’s easier to come to the conclusion that the dried fruit, when compared to the fresh one, is more likely to spike your blood sugar and retire your insulin production, studies have actually shown it to work the other way around. Instead, it has a lower glycemic index, which indicates that it's unlikely that dried apples will cause these negative health effects.

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3. Apple Cider Vinegar Reduces Cholesterol

Why not use apple cider vinegar (often referred to as ACV)? The process for making ACV requires a fermented substance to be made using bacteria that produce acetic acid. It does take time to make, so buying it from the store might be your best bet. When I was reading the research on ACV, one author dubbed it a “powerful potion.” And, who’s to say that it isn't? After all, the list of its benefits include improved weight loss, reduced allergies, and healthier hair.

Many claim that ACV can improve weight loss, so a study was conducted to test the claim. During the study, the chosen subjects were made to undergo a reduced cholesterol diet and half were made to take a daily amount of ACV, while the other half were not. The results turned out positive, as the subjects who took ACV were shown to have less bad cholesterol and more good cholesterol in their circulatory systems.

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4. Probiotic Apple Slices Improve Digestion

While this product has not reached mass production yet, I sure hope that it does. Probiotics are incredibly beneficial to your health. Probiotics pertain to living bacteria that help improve intestinal balance once ingested. In probiotic apple slices, a species of bacteria called Lactobacillus provide aid to your digestive system. If the name Lactobacillus sounds familiar, that's because it is the name of the genus of bacteria commonly used in yoghurts.

Having said that, aren’t yoghurts already there to satisfy anyone’s probiotic fruit cravings? Well, yoghurt has its own sensory characteristics (like its creamy texture), and while they're pleasing to some, not everyone enjoys the feeling. If you're looking for a crispier texture, then probiotic dried apple slices are a better call. This product has the same pleasing sensory characteristics of dried apples, while maintaining the health benefits of the probiotics added to them.

References:

  1. Akman, P. K., Uysal, E., Ozkaya, G. U., Tornuk, F., & Durak, M. Z. (2019). "Development of probiotic carrier dried apples for consumption as snack food with the impregnation of Lactobacillus paracasei." Lwt,103, 60-68. doi:10.1016/j.lwt.2018.12.070
  2. Bondonno, N. P., Bondonno, C. P., Ward, N. C., Hodgson, J. M., & Croft, K. D. (2017). "The cardiovascular health benefits of apples: Whole fruit vs. isolated compounds." Trends in Food Science & Technology, 69, 243-256. doi:10.1016/j.tifs.2017.04.012
  3. Brandon, B. (2014). Apple cider vinegar for health - 100 amazing and unexpected uses for apple. Adams Media Corporation.
  4. Chang, S. K., Alasalvar, C., & Shahidi, F. (2016). "Review of dried fruits: Phytochemicals, antioxidant efficacies, and health benefits." Journal of Functional Foods, 21, 113-132. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2015.11.034
  5. Donnelly, J. K., & Robinson, D. S. (1995). "Invited Review Free Radicals in Foods." Free Radical Research,22(2), 147-176. doi:10.3109/10715769509147536
  6. Perry, L. (n.d.). "Drying Apples."
  7. Sirin Jiwakanon, Rajnish Mehrotra. "Glucose Absorption." 2013
  8. Khezri, S. S., Saidpour, A., Hosseinzadeh, N., & Amiri, Z. (2018). "Beneficial effects of Apple Cider Vinegar on weight management, Visceral Adiposity Index and lipid profile in overweight or obese subjects receiving restricted calorie diet: A randomized clinical trial." Journal of Functional Foods,43, 95-102. doi:10.1016/j.jff.2018.02.003

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

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