Health Benefits of Apples The following information states the major nutrients found in apples. It also reveals
research findings on the health benefits of eating apples.
Note: Even though apples exhibit great nutritional benefits, they are not a complete food. Apples are an excellent source of pectin, vitamin C, and fiber. They are also a good
source of potassium. The skin contains most of the apple's important nutrients. Raw
apples are higher in many nutrients and phytochemicals than cooked apples. Apples
that are raw and unpeeled, are a great source of many important phytochemicals, such
as ellagic acid and flavonoids (especially quercetin). For example, fresh whole apples
and fresh apple juice contain approximately 100-130 milligrams per 100 grams (roughly
3 1/2 ounces) of chlorogenic, ellagic, and caffeic acids. In cooked or commercial
apples, the content of these compounds is at or near zero.
Research has shown that the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" is true.
In one of the studies, researchers in Finland followed more than 5,000 Finnish men and
women for more than twenty years. Those who ate a lot of apples along with other
flavonoid-rich foods, such as onions and tea, were found to have a 20 percent lower
risk of heart disease than those who ate the smallest amount of those foods.
Apple consumption has also been linked to lower risk of asthma. Research found that
people who ate at least two apples each week had a 22 to 32% lower risk of developing
asthma than those who ate less of the fruit.
Researchers believe that the apple's high content of flavonoids, like quercetin, are what
contribute most to the fruit's protective effects against heart disease and asthma. Pectin
is a soluble fiber that has been shown to exert a number of beneficial effects. Apples
are very high in pectin. Studies have found that pectin can lower cholesterol levels as
well as improve the intestinal muscle's ability to push waste through the gastrointestinal
tract. Apples promote bowel regularity and relieve both constipation and diarrhea due
to their insoluble fiber and pectin. References
All fruits and vegetables offer outstanding health benefits. Nutritional research shows
that each one contains its own set of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other
important nutrients. To get the maximum health benefits, experts recommend eating a
variety of fruits and vegetables along with other natural foods.