Learn about the nutritional value and health benefits of apples
Learn more about the nutritional value and health benefits of apples.
What is the nutritional value of apples?
A 200-gram serving of apple contains
- Calories: 104
- Fat: 0.3 grams
- Sodium: 2 mg
- Carbohydrates: 27.6 grams
- Fiber: 4.8 grams
- Sugars: 20.8 grams
- Protein: 0.5 grams
- Potassium: 214 mg
- Vitamin C: 9.2 mg
- Vitamin A: 6 mcg
Apples have a low glycemic index of 34 to 38.
8 health benefits of apples
1. High in antioxidants
Apples contain a group of polyphenols called flavonoids. They are also high in other antioxidants such as quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid. Antioxidants fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals. Free radicals are reactive molecules that can build up as a result of natural processes and environmental factors and cause cell damage.
2. Promotes gut health
Eating fiber-rich foods can also alleviate symptoms of gastrointestinal issues such as acid reflux, diarrhea, and constipation. The fiber content in apples also helps slow the digestion process so that you feel fuller for longer.
3. Supports heart health
Fiber-rich diets are linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease, and stroke. A medium-sized apple contains 4.37 grams of fiber, which is about 13%-20% of the daily requirement. Apples also contain many nutrients that may lower the risk of stroke. For example, potassium helps relax the blood vessels, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and related cardiovascular complications.
4. Regulates blood sugar
Since fiber slows down digestion, it prevents blood sugar spikes after eating. Eating whole apples with the skin provides the most fiber (apple juice does not contain any fiber). General recommendations are 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories consumed.
5. May help prevent cancer
Apples contain a powerful natural antioxidant called quercetin, which interrupts various phases of the cell cycle, inducing apoptosis (programmed cell death) in several types of tumors. Consuming a diet rich in these types of potent antioxidants may help in cancer prevention.
6. May reduce symptoms of asthma
The flavonoids in apples are beneficial for people with asthma. Studies show that flavonoids suppress inflammation and effectively reduce the severity of food allergy symptoms. Including apples in your diet on a regular basis may help keep asthma symptoms at bay.
7. Strengthens immunity
Vitamin C in apples may boost the immune system and help defend the body from infections and diseases.
8. Supports weight loss
Apples are a satisfying and nutritious snack that can help you reduce cravings and manage appetite. Apple consumption has been shown in several studies to improve weight loss outcomes. Eating an apple as a snack can boost vitamin intake, and since apples are high in water content and fiber, they keep you feeling full for longer and can prevent you from overeating.
Are there risks to eating apples?
Eating too many apples can cause weight gain. There are a few other things to keep in mind when eating apples:
- Pesticides: Apples tend to have high pesticide residues because they are more likely to be affected by bugs and diseases. Wash apples properly before consumption.
- Seeds: Apple seeds contain chemicals that can turn into cyanide in your body. However, you would have to crush and eat a large amount (about 100-150) for them to harm you.
- Drug interactions: Apple juice can interact with the allergy drug Allegra (fexofenadine). The juice makes the medicine hard for your body to absorb.
For safe consumption, you can store apples at room temperature for 1-2 weeks or in the refrigerator for 1-2 months. Frozen apples can last for up to 8 months. Avoid washing apples until ready to use, but make sure to wash them well under running water to remove any pesticides and wax.