Updated: Nov 19, 2019
Apples are one of the most popular fruits — and for good reason.
They're an exceptionally healthy fruit with many research-backed benefits.
Here are 10 impressive health benefits of apples.
1. Apples Are Nutritious
One medium apple — 6.4 ounces or 182 grams — offers the following nutrients (1Trusted Source):
Carbs: 25 grams
Fiber: 4 grams
Vitamin C: 14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
Potassium: 6% of the RDI
Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
Apples are also a rich source of polyphenols. While nutrition labels don't list these plant compounds, they’re likely responsible for many of the health benefits.
To get the most out of apples, leave the skin on — it contains half of the fiber and many of the polyphenols.
2. Apples May Assist With Weight Loss
Apples are high in fiber and water — two qualities that make them filling.
In one study, people who ate apple slices before a meal felt fuller than those who consumed applesauce, apple juice, or no apple products Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2664987/
In the same study, those who started their meal with apple slices also ate an average of 200 fewer calories than those who didn't
In another 10-week study in 50 overweight women, participants who ate apples lost an average of 2 pounds (1 kg) and ate fewer calories overall, compared to those who ate oat cookies with a similar calorie and fiber content Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18439712
Researchers think that apples are more filling because they’re less energy-dense, yet still deliver fiber and volume.
3. Apples May Be Good For Your Heart
Apples have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26016654
One reason may be that apples contain soluble fibre — the kind that can help lower your blood cholesterol levels.
They also contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant effects. Many of these are concentrated in the peel.
One of these polyphenols is the flavonoid epicatechin, which may lower blood pressure.
An analysis of studies found that high intakes of flavonoids were linked to a 20% lower risk of stroke Source: https://academic.oup.com/jn/article/140/3/600/4689169
4. They're Linked To A Lower Risk Of Diabetes
Several studies have linked eating apples to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes
In one large study, eating an apple a day was linked to a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to not eating any apples. Even eating just a few apples per week had a similarly protective effect Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3183591/
It's possible that the polyphenols in apples help prevent tissue damage to beta cells in your pancreas. Beta cells produce insulin in your body and are often damaged in people with type 2 diabetes.
5. They May Have Prebiotic Effects & Promote Good Gut Bacteria
Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
Your small intestine doesn't absorb fiber during digestion. Instead, it goes to your colon, where it can promote the growth of good bacteria. It also turns into other helpful compounds that circulate back through your body
New research suggests that this may be the reason behind some of the protective effects of apples against obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.