Eating apples is associated with having a better quality diet and an increased nutrient intake, according to a study on children published in the "FASEB Journal" in April 2014. These nutritious fruits may also provide a number of health benefits due to the nutrients they contain, which include fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants.
Calories and Macronutrients
You can eat a medium apple with the skin for 95 calories. These calories come from the 0.3 gram of fat, 0.5 gram of protein and 25.1 grams of carbohydrates in each apple. About 4.4 grams of these carbohydrates come from fiber, which is 18 percent of the daily value. Fiber helps you control your blood sugar and your weight, and it may also lower your risk for constipation, high cholesterol, heart disease and cancer.
Vitamins and Minerals
The main vitamin provided by apples is vitamin C. Each medium apple contains 14 percent of the daily value for this vitamin, which you need for forming collagen and healing wounds. It also acts as an antioxidant to help prevent damage to your cells from compounds called free radicals. Apples provide trace amounts of the other essential vitamins, with the exception of vitamin B-12, as well as the many of the essential minerals.
Antioxidants and Phytochemicals
Some of the potential health benefits from eating apples are due to the phytochemicals, or beneficial plant chemicals, that these fruits contain. A 2010 article published in the "European Journal of Clinical Nutrition" included apples as one of the 100 foods richest in antioxidants and polyphenols. They are particularly high in a quercetin, which falls into a group of polyphenols called flavonoids. Apples also contain a number of other polyphenols, with different types of apples providing different mixes of them.
Potential Health Benefits
A study published in "Free Radical Biology and Medicine" in January 2012 found that the flavonoids you get from eating apples may help lower your blood pressure. The fiber, antioxidants, flavonoids and other polyphenols in apples may also help lower your risk for heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, cancer and asthma, according to a review article published in "Advances in Nutrition" in September 2011.
- Journal of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology: Apples/Apple Products Consumption Is Associated With a Better Nutrient Intake Profile, Better Diet Quality, and Lower Risk of Obesity in Children (2-18 yrs): National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2001-2010
- Health-Alicious-Ness.com: Nutrition Facts Comparison Tool
- University of Arizona Extension: Dietary Fiber
- Free Radical Biology and Medicine: Flavonoid-Rich Apples and Nitrate-Rich Spinach Augment Nitric Oxide Status and Improve Endothelial Function in Healthy Men and Women: A Randomized Controlled Trial
- Journal of Food Composition and Analysis: Identification of Apples Rich in Health-Promoting Flavan-3-ols and Phenolic Acids by Measuring the Polyphenol Profile
- Advances in Nutrition: A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health
- University of California, Davis: Some Facts About Flavonols
- European Journal of Clinical Nutrition: Identification of the 100 Richest Dietary Sources of Polyphenols: An Application of the Phenol-Explorer Database
- University of Illinois Extension: Apple Facts
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- Photo Credit DAJ/amana images/Getty Images
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