It doesn’t matter which variety or colour you choose - Red, yellow or green, apples as you know are crunchy, juicy fruits that have great taste and many health benefits. An apple is a good source of vitamins and minerals
and one apple (approximately 120 g) contains 60 to 70 calories. Apples are part of the fruit group of which 3 servings are recommended to be consumed everyday as part of a balanced diet.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” - this popular saying is now backed by scientific evidence as apples were shown to contain nutrients that provide an impressive range of health benefits.
Nutritional compounds in apples for health benefits:
1. High content of antioxidants: Apples contain antioxidants and compounds known as Phytochemicals which are found both within the flesh of the apple and in particular the peel. Antioxidants give protection to our body cells; have anti-cancer benefits as well as help in slowing down aging.
2. Presence of flavonoids and fibre: These substances found in apples were proven to have cholesterol-lowering effects (LDL-bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (the good cholesterol), which gives apples a protective role against coronary heart disease. A high consumption of apples is associated with lower prevalence of strokes.
What does research say about these compounds?
Apple consumers reap heart-health benefits thanks to their flavonoid content. It was found that flavonoid-rich apples were one of three foods that decrease the risk of mortality from cardiovascular disease among post-menopausal women.
- Flavonoid content of apples: Quercetin, a major component of the apple peel has been shown to have important health benefits. Quercetin helps improve lung function and thus reduces asthma and bronchial sensitivity. Quercetin was also found to reduce the risk of Type 2 Diabetes.
- The fibre in apples: The apple peel contains a high percentage of soluble fibre which slows down the absorption of sugar in the blood and regulates it. Fibre action also provides a satiety feeling that suppresses hunger before the main meal. Thus apples serve as an ideal snack and help control excess weight.
To peel or not to peel an apple?
There's no question here! Whenever possible don't peel that apple as 75% of the fiber and many antioxidants and phytochemicals are found in the apple's peel, and it is these compounds that are responsible for the apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away effect.
Whatever its color let the apple be part of your daily fruit intake. With all its nutritious mouth-watering freshness, apples help maintain good health and protect from many diseases