Apples have had its origins traced back to central Asia. DNA analysis conducted in 2010, confirmed “Malus Sieversii” as the ancestor of the cultivated apple. Apples belongs to the rose family and its trees are usually very tall.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old Welsh proverb that most of us are familiar with, but what makes this fruit so special? What are health benefits associated with eating apples?
As one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world, apples are continuously being praised as a “miracle food”.
The health benefits of apple include improved digestion, prevention of stomach disorders, gallstones, constipation, liver disorders, anaemia, diabetes, heart disease, rheumatism, eye disorders, a variety of cancers, and gout. It also helps in improving weakness and provides relief from dysentery. Apples also help in treating dysentery. Furthermore, they can prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. Finally, they aid in dental care and skin care.
- Protect against Parkinson’s Disease: Research has shown that people who eat fruits and other high-fibre foods gain a certain amount of protection against Parkinson’s, a disease characterised by a breakdown of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. Scientists have linked this to the free radical-fighting power of the antioxidants contained therein.
- Anaemia: Apples are useful in treating anaemia since apples are a rich source of iron. Anaemia is a deficiency of haemoglobin in the blood, which can be fixed by increasing your intake of iron, which is an integral part in the metabolism of red blood cells. By increasing the amount of red blood cells in the body, you not only prevent anaemia but also ensure proper oxygenation of essential organ systems to keep them functioning properly.
- Weight Loss: Apples satisfy hunger for few calories so it’s not surprising that they can be part of a healthy diet that promotes weight loss. And in a recent study, dried apples also helped participants lose some weight. Women who ate a cup of dried apples daily for a year lost some weight and lowered their cholesterol and heart disease markers. Florida State University researchers think apples’ antioxidants and pectin (a type of fibre) are responsible for the benefits—and think that fresh apples would be even more effective.
- Heart Disease: Apples lower the level of cholesterol in the body, making it a strong defensive mechanism against cardiovascular disease. The adage of “an apple a day keeping the doctor away” is more accurate than you’d think since the daily dose of an apple deemed healthy for the heart is approximately one per day. The antioxidant activity in apples reduces the oxidation of fats, called lipid peroxidation and includes neutralising triglycerides and various fats found between blood vessels that can exert dangerous pressure. Also, apples contain a very powerful flavonoid called quercetin, found in the skin of the fruit, can reduce inflammation in our blood vessels by reducing the amount of C-reactive protein (CRP). This protein has been linked to inflammation of the cardiovascular system, so a reduction of it through quercetin makes apples very strong heart boosters!
- Boost Endurance Level: Eating an apple before you workout may boost your exercise endurance. Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs. One study showed that quercetin—when taken in supplement form—helped people bike longer.
Water – g 85.56
Energy – kcal 52
Protein – g 0.26
Total lipid (fat) – g 0.17
Carbohydrate, by difference – g 13.81
Fibre, total dietary – g 2.4
Sugars, total – g 10.39
Calcium, Ca – mg 6
Iron, Fe – mg 0.12
Magnesium, Mg – mg 5
Phosphorus, P – mg 11
Potassium, K – mg 107
Sodium, Na – mg 1
Zinc, Zn – mg 0.04
Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid – mg 4.6
Thiamin – mg 0.017
Riboflavin – mg 0.026
Niacin – mg 0.091
Vitamin B-6 – mg 0.041
Folate, DFE – µg 3
Vitamin B-12 – µg 0
Vitamin A, RAE – µg 3
Vitamin A, IU – IU 54
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) – mg 0.18
Vitamin D (D2 + D3) – µg 0
Vitamin D – IU 0
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) – µg 2.2
Fatty acids, total saturated – g 0.028
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated – g 0.007
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated – g 0.051
Fatty acids, total trans – g 0
Cholesterol – mg 0
Caffeine mg 0
(a)”Based on analytical data for red delicious golden delicious gala
(b)”3 and 5-pound bags of apples typically contain small and extra small sizes.”