Apple, a fruit from the rose family, forms part of our diet from time to time. It is loved by a multitude not only for its sweet, crunchy nature but also due to its immense health and nutritional value. There numerous varieties of apples that can be used as either table fruits, dessert or in special recipes. In this post, we shall dwell on the critical apple health benefits, nutritional value as well as its general uses.
Health Benefits of Apples
Apple health benefits in the nourishment of the digestive system
Apples have significant amounts of Vitamin C lodged just beneath their skin. This nutrient helps our bodies develop an active immunity against infectious elements and pro-inflammatory radicals. In addition to that, the skin and parts of the flesh contain high fiber contents which add bulk to the digestive tract. The role of the insoluble fiber is to carry water for cleansing the intestinal walls. Water also flushes food quickly through the digestive system to prevent bloating.
Promotes the neurological health
Apples are an excellent source of antioxidants. They rank second among other fruits and vegetables. An intake of apples provides flavonoids and polyphenolics that prevent oxidative stress dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Quercetin, an antioxidant in apples, has been shown to reduce the death of cells usually caused by the oxidation and swelling of neurons.
Apple health benefits in cancer treatment
Many studies suggest that eating apples can reduce the occurrence of cancer. A study at Nurses’ Health revealed that fruits and vegetables, particularly apples, decreased the risks of lung cancer cases in women. The flavonoids in apples play a major role in barring the development of cancerous cells. A combination of other foods with high antioxidant content such as apples, onions, and grapefruits reduce cancer threats by half.
Apple health benefits in weight loss and diabetes control
Apples do not only help in the reduction of heart diseases but also contribute to diabetes prevention. The two principal components for this role are fiber and water. Fiber is an indigestible nutrient that increases the bulk of food, giving you a feeling of satiety. Hence, you can reduce your rate of calorie intake. The hydration effect of apple helps to improve the metabolic rate of individuals making it an important catalyst for weight loss.
Apple consumption lowers the body cholesterol levels
Among the significant apple health benefits is its role in reducing the blood cholesterol level. The polyphenols found in this fruit such as epicatechin reduces LDL cholesterol. This ensures that blood flows at a good rate in the vessels, thus preventing heart disease.
Studies have linked apple intake to decreased risk of asthma. A good example is the one that was published in the American Journal of Respiratory Critical Care Medicine. According to the research, adults who ate at least two apples a week reduced their asthma risk by up to a third. A different study conducted in 2007 found that women who eat apples regularly are less likely to have children with asthma.
Apple Nutritional Value
What is the nutritional value of apples? The apple fruit has occasionally been referred to as a nutritional powerhouse because of its nutritional endowments. This section outlines some of the key nutrients in an apple fruit and their respective quantities.
• Water- 85.56g
• Carbohydrates -13.81g
Dietary fiber- 2.49g
Natural sugars- 10.39g
• Protein- 0.26g
The vitamins available per serving are:
• Vitamin A – 3
• beta-carotene- 27 micrograms
• lutein zeaxanthin- 29 micrograms
• Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)- 0.017 milligrams
• Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)- 0.026 milligrams
• Vitamin (Niacin)- 0.091 milligrams
• Vitamin B6 0.041 milligrams
• Folate (or Vitamin B9)- 3 micrograms
• Vitamin C- 4.6 milligrams
• Vitamin E- 0.18 milligrams
• Vitamin K- 2.2 micrograms
The minerals are:
• Calcium – 6 milligrams
• Iron- 0.12 milligrams
• Magnesium- 5 milligrams
• Manganese- 0.035 milligrams
• Phosphorus- 11 milligrams
• Potassium- 107 milligrams
• Sodium – 1 milligrams
• Zinc- 0.04 milligrams
Besides apple health benefits, there are other uses of the fruit you should know about.
Apples can be used to store baked products
Baked food tend to dry up when stored outside the refrigerator. To avoid this, keep your confectioneries in a tightly closed container with a half an apple. It will emit moisture that keeps your food moist.
Alternative for sugars in baking
Apples are an excellent substitute for processed sugars, particularly during baking. Applesauce is a good source of natural sugars offering you the desired taste but with fewer calories. Alternatively, add a few slices in your smoothie rather than sweetened sugar flavors.
An apple-based face mask
You can use apples to make an effective natural face mask recipe. Here is a simple recipe:
• A quarter of an apple
• A quarter of an orange
• Six grapes
• 3 strawberries
• 1/8 cup of raw honey
Blend the fruits together. Wash your face and pat it to dry. Apply a thin layer of honey followed by the blended mixture evenly on your face. Leave the face mask on for about fifteen minutes and then wash off the residue with warm water. Pat your face to dry.
Apples are evidently an outstanding food owing to their health and nutritional benefits. Do you know some apple health benefits and uses not mentioned in this article? Let us know in the comment section below.