Apples are the second most consumed fruit over the world. It is widely popular and is grown almost everywhere. Apple is a delicious treat on its own and in its raw form, but it is often used in various recipes.
All fruits are rich in nutrients which make them ideal for healthy diets. Apples possess a range of nutrients and vitamins that are beneficial for our health. The vitamins help prevent and fight against a number of diseases.
There are hundreds of different varieties of apples around the world, some of the most popular ones include granny smith, red delicious, Fuji, Gala, golden delicious and honey crisp. Apples are a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, and phytonutrients. There is an extensive list of phenolic phytonutrients found in apples. This is the most stand out the property of apples. Apples also have good amounts of vitamin C.
Vitamins and Nutrients in Apples
Apples are well known and widely consumed fruit among people, but they often forget the exceptional qualities and benefits that this humble fruit possesses. Most of the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are present just beneath the apple skin. So it is best to eat it raw and with skin to reap all the benefits.
Phytonutrients are substances found in some plants, fruits or vegetables which are said to be beneficial for human health and help in preventing various diseases. The famous ancient Welsh proverb, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” can be true in some cases as it prevents diseases by providing essential nutrition to the body.
Various phenols and polyphenols found in apples also combine to provide antioxidants. Phytonutrients like anthocyanins, dihydrochalcones, flavonoids (flavonols, flavonol glycoside), hydroxycinnamic acid derivatives are found mainly in the apple peels but are also present in the flesh.
The antioxidants found in apples, help to prevent cardiovascular diseases. It helps protect the blood vessels and decrease bad cholesterol levels. Studies also show that the phytonutrients in apples help protect against cancer. The compounds found in apples help lower the risk of developing cancer cells in the body.
Apples have a high amount of fiber in them. Fiber is beneficial for improving digestion and plays an important part in lowering blood sugar levels. This helps in preventing diabetes.
There are about 4 grams of fiber in a medium-sized apple which equates up to 17 percent of the required daily intake. Apple contains both soluble and insoluble fibers, soluble fibers are called pectin. Consuming fiber also aids in weight management as it keeps you full and satiated for longer time periods.
Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) helps increase resistance against bacteria and viruses. Apple store a good amount of vitamin C. According to the USDA, one medium apple contains 8.4 mg of vitamin C, which equates to 9 percent of the recommended daily intake value in males and 11 percent in females. It has many benefits, ascorbic acid helps in cardiovascular diseases, eye diseases, collagen production, skin problems, in healing wounds, prenatal health problems and maintaining bones.
Vitamin B-6 also called pyridoxine is beneficial for the nerve cells in the body. It creates neurotransmitters which transmit signals to and from nerve cells. It also helps the body absorb vitamin B-12. Vitamin B-6 is also needed to produce certain hormones. A medium apple provides about 6 percent of the daily recommended value.
Thiamine or vitamin B-1 is known as anti-stress vitamin. It helps with the body’s immune system and helps improve the ability to handle tense conditions. 3 to 4 percent is found in a medium-sized apple.