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Apples 101 – Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Apples 101: Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits
Apples also are known as Malus Domestica are one of the most commonly consumed fruit in the world. We all have heard the quote “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Fruits and vegetables are known to have several health-promoting components in them. These components are called phytochemicals.
There are thousands of phytochemicals identified in foods and some of them such as carotenoids, flavonoids, isoflavonoids, and phenolic acids have been subjected to a lot of research work.
Nutrition facts of apples
The weight of an apple varies based on the cultivar of the apple but in general, an average apple may weight between 70 to 100 grams.
About 85 % of an apple is nothing but water. And its calorific value per 100 grams is 52 kcal. It is a low-calorie food. The calories all come from the carbohydrate content which is about 14 %. The protein and fat content in apple are negligible (1).
Considering that most of the fruit is water it can be called a fairly good source of dietary fiber as it provides 2.4 % fiber. It is the next highest constituent after carbohydrate.
Apples 100 grams provide potassium 107 mg, phosphorous 11 mg, magnesium 5 mg and very less sodium about 1 mg. And when it comes to vitamins 100 grams of an apple contains 4.6 mg vitamin C and vitamin A 3 µg (1).
Health benefits of apples
Fruits and vegetables are known to contain several phytochemicals or plant chemicals which exhibit a range of health-promoting effects. Phytochemicals such as phenolics, flavonoids and carotenoids have the ability to decrease the risk of degenerative chronic diseases (2).
These are non-nutrient compounds present in fruits and vegetables are responsible for health benefits though they do not have any nutritional value. Apples contain phytochemicals which include quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid. These are all potent antioxidants (2).
Apples contain a significant amount of phenolic compounds and apples are one of the major sources of phenolic phytochemicals. Flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables and in the United States and Europe apples contribute a major share of flavonoids in the diet.
Dietary fiber helps manage blood glucose and lipid levels. Apples are fair sources of dietary fiber. Fruit because of dietary fiber will also provide satiety value. That makes us feel full for a longer period of time so that we do not snack on energy dense foods between meals.
Apple consumption reduced the risk of certain diseases
Apples are one of those fruits which are popular all over the world. A review of the literature stated that epidemiological studies have seen an association between intake of apples and reduced risk of diseases such as certain types of cancer, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes (2).
In a meta-analysis, the results indicated that consuming apples is linked to a reduced risk of cancer in different anatomical sites (3).
Apples are a low glycaemic index food. In a study, it was observed that including apple in the diet reduced blood glucose levels (4). Control of blood glucose levels is beneficial to people with diabetes.
Most of these health benefits are attributed to the antioxidant activity of the phytochemicals in apples.
Apples may help in weight management
Fruits and vegetables because of their fiber content, satiety value and low calorific value in general help manage body weight. Eating 3 apples a day led to weight loss in a study conducted on women who had higher levels of cholesterol (4).
Apples provide nutrients and at the same time are beneficial to health. Apples are available widely. Apples can be eaten as such or can be incorporated into recipes such as apple pie, apple pudding, apple crumble, and apple cobbler and so on.
Best though would be eating an apple as a whole fruit which will provide the nutrients and health benefits without any losses during the making of any recipes.
- National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release, United States, Department of Agriculture.
- Boyer, J. and Liu, R. H. (2004) Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits, Nutrition journal. Vol. 3(5).
- Fabiani, R., Minelli, L. and Rosignoli, P. (2016) Apple intake and cancer risk: A systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies, Public Health Nutrition. Vol. 19(14).
- Conceicao de Oliveira, M., Sichieri, R. and Moura, A. S. (2003) Weight Loss associated With a Daily Intake of Three Apples or Three Pears among Overweight Women, Nutrition. Vol.19.