You know the old health adage: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away. Eating apples has been shown to help in everything from weight loss to heart health. But, should you really be eating an apple a day? What happens to your health if you eat one apple, or is it possible to eat too many apples and turn the advantage into a disadvantage?
Benefits Of Eating Apples Every Day
Nothing helps you achieve your weight loss goals like snacking, and apples are just that. The reason is that they contain two substances that help you feel fuller and get fiber and moisture for longer. According to a study published in the journal Appetite, people who ate apple slices before meals felt fuller than those who didn’t, consuming an average of 200 calories. Consuming 240 to 720 mg of apple or apple juice per day for 4 to 12 weeks is effective for weight loss.
A Healthier Gut
Apples are high in one nutrient, and most people don’t get enough fiber. With 5 grams of each medium-sized fruit, one apple can reduce your daily goal of 25 grams by 20%. Not only does fiber smoothen your digestion and prevent constipation, but it also promotes a healthier microbiome (that is, the good bacteria in your gut). Most of an apple’s fiber comes from pectin, which produces an acid called butyric acid. This acid is especially good for feeding beneficial gut flora. Learn about other ways to eat for a healthy gut with our handy guide.
Systemic inflammation is the driving factor behind a range of chronic diseases, so we should all try to reduce it as much as possible. Eating an apple a day may help! The fruit is rich in an antioxidant called quercetin, which studies have shown can suppress inflammation in the body. Meanwhile, additional antioxidants like catechins and vitamin C are added to the mix to reduce oxidative damage in cells. Check out our list of other anti-inflammatory foods.
Lower The Risk Of Diabetes
Since diabetes is a blood sugar disorder, you might think that fruit has no place in diabetes prevention. But thanks to its high fiber and antioxidant content, eating an apple a day can actually have a positive effect on blood sugar management. A 2013 study found that, among small amounts of other fruits, higher consumption of apples was associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
Boost Your Immunity
Oranges are often prized for their high levels of vitamin C, but apples are also prized for their micronutrients. A medium-sized raw apple contains 14% of your daily vitamin C requirement. Adequate intake of vitamin C can keep your immune system functioning properly because of its antioxidant properties that ward off pathogens and reduce oxidative stress. Deficiencies of this key vitamin are associated with higher susceptibility to infection.
Of the common grocery store varieties, Granny Smith has the highest vitamin C content, with 12 mg of vitamin C per 100 grams of fruit. Or, if you really want to boost your C, look for rarer varieties like Sturmer Pippin, Calville Blanc, or Baldwin apples, which contain up to 40 milligrams per 100 grams.
Reduce The Risk Of Death From Any Cause
Who doesn’t want to dial back the risk of death from any cause? In 2016, a study that followed older women for 15 years found that the more apples they ate, the less likely they were to die from any health condition. Specifically, the women in the study had a lower risk of dying from heart disease and cancer. Sounds like reason enough to grab a feast and munch!
Disadvantages of Eating Apples Every Day
Possible Gas and Bloating
There are some downsides to your daily apple consumption. If you’re not used to eating fiber, suddenly starting a daily apple regimen can lead to uncomfortable gas and bloating. Gradually add fiber from apples and other foods to your diet over a few weeks, and be sure to drink plenty of water to help the fiber move through your digestive tract.
Some people are allergic to apples and related fruits. If you are allergic to birch pollen, you may also be allergic to apples, so you must refrain from eating apples. Symptoms include hives, abdominal pain and vomiting, and life-threatening allergic reactions. However, you can eat apples without the skin.
According to the Environmental Working Group, apples are the first choice for “dirty” produce. If you’re concerned about pesticide levels in your food, buy organic apples. However, organic produce can be more expensive than conventionally grown, resulting in larger outlays for grocery stores.
Ways to Eat Apples Every Day
With portable fruit, eating an apple a day is easy. Keep a bowl of washed apples on the counter and grab one on the way to school or work. Apples are also a delicious addition to many dishes.
Add sliced apples and raisins to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, or add some apples and grilled chicken to a lunch or dinner salad. An apple and two tablespoons of almond butter is a satisfying snack you can enjoy after a workout; an apple baked with a little butter and cinnamon is a nutritious dessert that will satisfy your sweet tooth.
Apples are an excellent choice for a healthy, low-fat, low-calorie snack. They are rich in fiber and antioxidants, both of which protect against various chronic diseases. To get the most health benefits from apples, it is recommended to consume the whole fruit, including the peel.
But keep in mind that apples are not a substitute for a balanced diet and regular exercise. And, even that is no guarantee. People with impeccable lifestyles still suffer from heart disease and cancer, and staying away from doctors altogether can make it difficult for them to access preventive services, such as screening. Regular (but not too frequent) visits to your doctor will make it possible for him to spot conditions that could harm you in the future, even if you’re feeling fine while munching on the red delicacy.