Yes, Apples Really Are as Good for You as You've Always Been Told
*Resists every urge to make a keeping-the-doctor-away joke*
There are so many things we look forward to in the fall: cozy sweaters, scenic seasonal foliage, tailgating, and all things apple. Indeed, there are over 750 varieties of apples in the world, and more than 100 types of apples that exist in the United States alone—and come fall (let’s be honest, August), we’re here for every single one of them.
Why? Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as the first bite into a sweet, juicy, freshly picked apple. From savory salads, soups, and flatbreads to sweet apple pies, turnovers, tarts, and more, apples make a delicious addition to every dish.
Apples are also incredibly good for you, says Hillary Cecere, RDN, a registered dietitian for Eat Clean Bro. Here’s a breakdown of all the benefits you’ll reap from fall’s most festive fruit.
Apples are high in a soluble fiber called pectin. Pectin binds to cholesterol and excess glucose in the digestive tract leading to elimination. A large apple (223 grams) has about 5 grams of fiber. Higher quercetin intake, a major component of apple peels, is also associated with a decreased risk in type II diabetes.
Antioxidants and blood glucose control
Polyphenols are active compounds found in plant foods that have antioxidant activity. The polyphenols found in apples may help block the digestive enzyme needed for breaking starch into simple sugar and may improve the body’s ability to utilize insulin more effectively. This could decrease blood sugar spikes after a meal.
The antioxidant properties of polyphenols found in apples also helps to prevent chronic inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Digestive health and gut bacteria
The fiber in an apple isn’t the only benefit for digestion: they contain a ton of bacteria which provide the gut with a diverse microbiome. Organic apples seem to have a more varied and balanced microbiome than conventionally grown apples.
Apples are satisfying and relatively low in calories. One medium apple contains less than 100 calories and contains a good amount of fluid and fiber, which help keep you full longer. A study on the impact of fruit intake on weight loss discovered that overweight women who ate the equivalent of three apples or pears a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t add fruit to their diet.
A study found that a mother’s consumption of apples during pregnancy may have a protective effect against the development of childhood asthma, wheezing and allergic disease. Several studies have found that regular apple consumption in adults is linked to reduced risk of lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and asthma.