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Apples are usually round in size with 5 to 10 cm in diameter. They are found in different colours like green, red and yellow. There are different varieties of apples which include McIntosh, Fuji, Red Delicious, Gala, Crispin, Braeburn, Honeycrisp, Jonagold, Grannysmith, Empire, Golden Delicious, Cameo, Jazz, Macoun, Ambrosia, Paula Red, Cripps Pink, Cortland, and so on.
Nutritional Value Of Apples
100 g of apples contain 54 kcal (energy). They also contain
- 0.3 g protein
- 14.05 g carbohydrates
- 2.1 g total dietary fibre
- 10.33 g sugar
- 6 mg calcium
- 0.15 mg iron
- 107 mg potassium
- 5 mg magnesium
- 4.6 mg vitamin C
- 54 IU vitamin A
Health Benefits Of Apples
1. Aid in weight loss
Apples are high in fibre and low in energy density which make them weight loss-friendly fruit. A study showed that people who ate slices of apples before a meal felt fuller compared to people who consumed applesauce, apple juice or no apple products  . Another study also showed that overweight women who ate apples lost 1 kg of weight due to the fibre content  .
2. Lower blood cholesterol
Apples lower the risk of heart disease by lowering blood cholesterol levels due to the presence of soluble fibre and polyphenol antioxidants. Studies have shown that apples can reduce the build-up of plaque in the arteries which leads to atherosclerosis which causes heart attacks and strokes  ,  .
3. Promote gut health
Apples contain pectin, a type of soluble fibre that works as a prebiotic in your gut. This fibre travels to your colon and promotes the growth of good bacteria by feeding it. This helps in maintaining the balance of gut microbiota. Gut bacteria is needed for proper digestion of food  ,  .
4. Prevent diabetes risk
Many studies have shown that consuming apples lowers the risk of diabetes. The fibre content in them has been shown to reduce blood sugar levels. Fibre slows down the absorption of sugar and helps control blood sugar level, thus reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes  .
5. Prevent Alzheimer's disease and dementia
According to a 2006 study, quercetin, one of the antioxidants found in apples reduced cellular death caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons. Drinking apple juice increases the production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in the brain which results in improved memory, thereby preventing Alzheimer's disease and dementia  .
6. Reduce cancer risk
Apples, apple juice and other plant compounds in apples have anti-cancerous effects  . Apples contain phytonutrients that can prevent lung cancer and colon cancer  ,  . A study found that people who consumed one or more apples a day had a lower risk of getting colon cancer by 20 per cent and breast cancer by 18 per cent  .
7. Improve bone health
Apples contain antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds that have a positive effect on bone health. A study found that people who consumed more apples and other apple products had a higher bone density and more calcium compared to people who ate fewer apples  .
8. Fight asthma
The antioxidant content in apples protects your lungs from oxidative damage. Apple skin contains quercetin which regulates the immune system and lowers inflammation associated with asthma and allergic reactions. A study showed that individuals who consumed the most apples had the lowest risk of asthma  .
9. Protects the stomach from NSAIDs
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), a class of painkillers injures the lining of the stomach  . Apples are said to help protect stomach cells from injury caused by NSAIDs due to the presence of two plant compounds called catechin and chlorogenic acid.
10. Improves eyesight
Studies have shown that people who eat a diet rich in fruits containing antioxidants including apples are 10 to 15 per cent less likely to get macular degeneration and cataracts  . Apples maintain proper eyesight and aids in the treatment of night blindness.
11. Boosts immune system
Soluble fibre present in apples is said to reduce inflammation linked to obesity-related diseases and strengthens the immune system according to a university study. Soluble fibre works by changing the immune cells from pro-inflammatory, angry cells to anti-inflammatory, healing cells that help the body recover faster from infections  .
12. Boost iron levels
Apples have good amounts of iron that help in boosting iron levels in the body which is good for patients with anaemia. In addition to that, the vitamin C in apples aids in absorbing non-heme iron from plant-based foods.
13. Provides healthy teeth
Apples contain malic acid, a naturally occurring substance that gives a slightly sour taste to apples. This acid improves oral hygiene by stimulating the production of saliva in the mouth, reducing tooth decay by decreasing the bacteria. It also helps to whiten your teeth  .
14. Promotes healthy skin
Apples work great as skin toners that help tighten your skin and stimulate blood circulation. It lightens, brightens and soothes your skin from sunburns due to its cooling properties. Apples also have anti-ageing properties that help delay fine lines and wrinkles.
15. Stimulates hair growth
Apples contain a compound called procyanidin B2 which stimulates hair growth and prevents hair thinning  . In addition, the phenolic compounds, antioxidants and vitamins in apples prevent hair fall and treat dandruff.
How To Eat Apples
- Apples can either be eaten directly or had in the form of juice.
- Add sliced apples in your green salad for a sweeter taste.
- Applesauce is another way to eat apples. It is made by cooking sliced apples, water and sugar in a hot oven.
- Consume apple slices with peanut butter as a snack.
- Add apple slices to your oatmeal.
Health Risks Of Apples
Apples are acidic in nature, so if eaten in excess may damage your tooth enamel. Dentists recommend cutting apples into slices and chewing them with your back teeth and rinsing your mouth after eating to wash away the acids and sugars.
Apple seeds are poisonous because they contain a chemical compound called amygdalin which releases cyanide, a powerful poison  . Chewing the apple seeds will release toxins in the digestive system and pose harmful risks. So, avoid having apple seeds.
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