Apples are delicious fruits! They have striking color and a rosy aroma as they belong to the rose family of plants, Rosaceae. They are scientifically known to be full of minerals and vitamins.
Do you know that Apples are a store house of fibers, with about 4 grams of fiber enclosed in a medium-sized apple? That’s where the popular saying comes from – “An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.”
The other names for apples are (Seb) in Hindi, (Safarjan) in Guajrati, and (Safarchand) Marathi.
[ Read: Benefits Of Sugar Apples ]
Nutrients And Minerals Found In Apples
Since apples are stuffed with numerous vitamins and minerals, it contributes to a healthy and well-protected system. Apples contain plenty of antioxidants like flavonoids, polyphenols, and vitamin C that help protect the body against harmful bacteria and viruses. Moreover, the beta carotene in it has anti-cancer and anti-cholesterol properties. It is also an excellent source of B-complex vitamins like Thiamine, Riboflavin, Pyridoxine.
Apple Benefits For Health
Here is how apple fruits benefits health!
Apples have potent anti-cancer abilities that protect the body from the life-sucking cancerous cells. This is the most important apple fruit benefit of all. Scientists from the American Association for Cancer Research, among others agree that the consumption of flavones-rich apples could help reduce your risk of developing pancreatic cancer by up to 23 percent. And several compounds enclosed in apple peels called triterpenoids, showed potential to anti-growth activities against cancer cells as identified by researchers at Cornell University. In addition, colorectal cancer can be beaten with intake of fibers. So the next time you chuck the peels of an apple in the garbage, think of the nutritious value in them!
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Green Apples ]
Apples have high amounts of fiber. When we eat apples, the soluble fibers compete with fats in the intestine. This competition between fibers and fats result in the decrease of absorption of LDL low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol levels and increase in absorption of HDL high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. This how apples and cholesterol levels control in the body is connected.
3. Boost Immunity
Apples have an antioxidant known as quercetin which is especially found in red delicious apples. This antioxidant boosts the immune system to build the natural defenses of the body. The other nutrient present in an apple is vitamin C that has anti-inflammatory properties. Fibers also enhance the immune system. It is because of this that apples are considered to be high immunity boosters.
4. Preventing Alzheimer’s
An experiment performed on mice found that apple consumption in the regular diet results in higher doses of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine. Also, in Alzheimer’s, the nerve cells of the brain are damaged, and apple juice which contains flavonoids helps repair the damaged cells. So, drinking apple juice can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s and can battle against the decaying of the brain.
[ Read: Benefits of Apple Juice ]
5. Averting Asthma
Phytochemicals and polyphenols are the chemicals that give apple its healing properties, which can assist an individual recovering from asthma, breathing problems and improve the general functioning of the lungs.
Research shows that children who consume apple juice regularly showed reduced risks of suffering from asthma attacks and wheezing problems as compared to those who seldom consume apple juice. In contrast, eating whole apples didn’t seem to be of any benefit to the wheezing and asthmatic children.
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Mangoes ]
Another important health benefit of apples is that it aids in fighting off oxygen-free radicals that cause diabetes. Apples are loaded with soluble fibers, the key to blunting blood sugar swings. The high soluble fiber, pectin in apples, helps in controlling blood sugar levels in the body by transporting the sugar into the blood stream at a slower rate. Women who eat at least one apple a day are 28 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who don’t eat apples.
7. Prevent Gallstones
Gallstones form when there’s too much cholesterol in your bile, and it solidifies. They are particularly prevalent in obese people. To inhibit gallstones, doctors recommend a diet high in fiber to aid in controlling your weight and cholesterol levels. Apples are rich in pectin fiber that can assist in controlling the cholesterol levels in the body. The fiber does this by helping in reducing the absorption of LDL.
8. Neutralize Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome is characterized by constipation, diarrhea, and abdominal pain and ballooning. To control these symptoms, doctors recommend staying away from dairy and fatty foods while including a high intake of fiber in your diet, and apples are rich in fibers.
9. Detoxify Your Liver
We’re constantly consuming toxins, whether it is from drinks or food, our liver is in charge of discharging these toxins out of your body. One of the best things you can eat to help detoxify your liver is fruits like apples which are composed of vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
[ Read: Health Benefits Of Banana ]
10. Prevent Cataract
Past studies have been divided on this matter, but the recent long-term study suggests that people who have a diet rich in fruits that contain antioxidants like apples are 10 to 15 percent less likely to develop cataract.
11. Preventing Parkinson’s
Parkinson’s is a disease that is characterized by the breaking down of the brain’s dopamine-producing nerve cells. The antioxidants present in apples prevents this breakdown.
12. Avert Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids are the result of swollen veins in the anal canal due to excessive pressure on the pelvic and rectal areas. While this is isn’t life threatening, it does make the daily activities painful. The fiber content in the apple reduces the strain and effort, thus reducing the pain.
13. Weight Loss
The fiber in the fruit fills the stomach for fewer calories. Hence, reducing the calorie intake along with killing the hunger pangs. This allows for the accumulated fats to be burned and contributes to weight loss.
14. Increase Endurance
The antioxidant quercetin makes oxygen more easily available to the lungs. Due to which an increase in the time of endurance has been noticed. This allows you to spend more time exercising.
15. Whiter Teeth
The biting and chewing of this fruit increases the secretion of saliva in the mouth that delays tooth decay. This fruit can definitely make those unpleasant visits to the dentist a lot less frequent!
16. Aid Digestion
Despite being small in size, these fruits are rich in dietary fiber. Including them in your daily diet will ensure that your digestive process stays intact. At the same time, it will keep away constipation and facilitate smooth movement of bowels.
17. Innate Detoxification Potential
A decoction prepared from rose apple may be used to flush out the toxins from the kidneys and liver. While keeping the vital organs clear, it also ensures that the overall health gets a boost.
18. Prevent Brain Cell Damage
Eating apples or drinking apple juice is quite good for cellular health. Studies conclude that apples have free-radical eliminating properties. They are rich in Quercetin, an active phytonutrient that promotes cellular health. For this reason, Bramley apples help prevent and cure Alzheimer’s disease.
19. Alleviate Respiratory Troubles
Velvet Apples are a home remedy for cough, chest congestion, and preliminary asthma. The high Vitamin C and mineral content of Velvet Apples boost immunity and promote health. Just binge on the fruit and say goodbye to your annoying cough and cold.
20. Aid Blood Circulation
Velvet Apples are rich in iron, which helps maintain hemoglobin levels in the blood. It also regulates the red blood cell count in the body. Velvet Apples increase blood oxygenation, stimulate hair growth and accelerate healing. It is a must-have for patients suffering from anemia.
21. Promote Bone Health
Velvet Apple or Mabolo is rich in calcium. Calcium is one of the key nutrients that promote bone and teeth strength. The high calcium content of Velvet Apple helps prevent conditions like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis. The fruit should be a part of the regular diet across all age-groups.
22. Analgesic Properties
Velvet Apple leaves have mooted analgesic properties that help relieve bone and muscle pain. Crush the leaf and bark of the plant and topically apply it for best results. It is a natural therapy for body aches.
23. Improve Night Vision
Velvet Apples or Kamagong contain high amounts of Vitamin A. It helps improve vision and reduce symptoms of night blindness in children. Vitamin A is essential for good eyesight. Let your child munch on a Velvet Apple and say no to eyeglasses.
Apple Benefits For Skin
There is plenty of anecdotal evidence that indicates that apple benefits for skin & health are many. Apples are probably one of the fruits that can provide you with beautiful skin. They can be beneficial for your skin in the following ways.
24. Brighten And Lighten Complexion
Apple fruit has the potential to lighten, brighten and soothe your skin. This is because it has the highest content of collagen and elastic, the stuff that is vital for keeping your skin flawless and youthful. Thus, consuming this delicious red fruit provides you with a rosy, youthful glow forever.
25. Hydrate Skin
Apple hydrates as well as cleanses your skin. For this purpose, cut a slice of an apple and apply its juice on your face until the slice dries up. This will balance the oil production in your body and is a great hydrating mask. Apple can also be used as an exfoliant.
26. Anti-Aging Benefits
Apple is a great anti-aging mask to lift the dull and wrinkled skin as well as keeping it moist. Regular intake of apples eliminates fine lines and wrinkles. You can rub grated apple on your face and leave on for 10 to 20 minutes. This will eliminate wrinkles as well as heal and cleanse your skin.
27. UV Protection
Apple contains UVB defending particles that can provide extra protection from sun’s rays. This fruit can treat sunburns and prevent them from peeling. For this purpose, blend a teaspoon of glycerin with a pulp from the grated apple fruit. Apply this on your skin and leave for 15 minutes and then wash it off with cold water.
28. Acne, Blemishes, And Dark Spots
To get rid of acne, blemishes, and dark spots, you can mash a quarter of an apple with milk cream and apply it on your face. Apple also provides relief from acne and sunburns, thanks to its cooling properties. For this purpose, place an apple slice in the refrigerator for an hour or so and apply it on sun burnt skin or acne prone skin for relief.
29. Great Toner
Apples are wonderful toners that help to tighten your skin and stimulate blood circulation to the skin surface. Raw apple pulp and apple cider vinegar are quite beneficial in this regard. Apple cider vinegar helps to clear the skin’s pores of pathogens and oil, which are responsible for causing acne and pimples. It also balances the skin’s pH levels, which enables the skin to restrict the overproduction of its own oils. Dip a cotton ball in high-value apple cider vinegar and apply it on your face. This will have the same effect as the toner. Besides, it will keep acne/pimples at bay.
30. Treatment of Puffy Eyes
Placing slices of apples under your eyes can reduce dark circles or puffy eyes. Alternatively, you can mix two tablespoons of apple cider with grated potatoes. Apply this on the eye puffiness and cover with a warm cloth. Leave this for 10 to 20 minutes and rinse off with warm water.
31. Prevent Skin Cancer
Apple contains a small amount of vitamin A, a family of chemicals known as retinoids. Vitamin A plays an important role in skin development, thus enabling immature skin to develop into mature and functional skin tissue. Vitamin A also reduces the risk of skin cancer. One large apple provides about 120 international units of vitamin A which is equivalent to 5% and 4% of the daily vitamin A requirements for women and men respectively.
32. Benefits Of Vitamin C
Consumption of apples boosts your intake of vitamin C or ascorbic acid. This vitamin is involved in the formation of collagen, a protein found abundantly in your skin. Being a crucial structural component of skin, collagen helps to maintain your skin’s waterproof barrier. Deficiency of vitamin C leads to low collagen production which ultimately causes re-opening of old wounds and skin tearing. One large apple provides 10.3 milligrams of vitamin C, which is equivalent to 14% and 11% of the daily vitamin C requirements for women and men respectively.
Apple Benefits For Hair
Besides being your skin’s best friend, regular consumption of apples provides you with a healthy mane. The plethora of nutrients found in this fruit can boost hair growth and provide numerous other benefits given below.
33. Stimulate Hair Growth
Apple belongs to the category of fruits that are known as hair growth boosters. This quality can be attributed to the presence of a nutrient called biotin which has been heralded as the natural growth steroids for hair and nails. People are often recommended biotin in their diet to combat hair loss. Research has indicated that biotin promotes hair growth and infuses strength and thickness into each strand. And needless to say, apple is one of the best natural ways of getting this vital nutrient.
34. Promote Longer And Healthier Hair
Long and lustrous locks are everyone’s desire and this delicious fruit does possess the ability to fulfill it. This is because it contains a compound called procyanidin B-2 which stimulates hair growth as well as thickens your hair. It also prevents hair thinning and male pattern baldness.
35. Prevent Hair Loss
Apple has the potential to prevent hair loss, thanks to the presence of soluble fiber, phenolic compounds in apple skin, antioxidants, and vitamins. When eaten daily, apples also prevent hair fall. Antioxidants help in increasing circulation to the scalp, thus encouraging hair growth.
36. Treatment Of Dandruff
Topical application of apple juice on your scalp helps to restore the normal balance of the scalp, thus preventing scalp problems such as dandruff. All you need to do is give a final rinse of apple juice to your hair after shampooing. This will eliminate dandruff and bring about an added shine.
How To Select And Store?
Most varieties of apples are readily available in stores all the year round. However, the freshest apples are available from September till November. While purchasing apples, always focus on color. Choose the ones that have a rich and vibrant coloring without any browning near the core. Yellow and green apples should have a slight blush. The size of the apple also indicates its maturity and ripeness to a great extent. Larger apples are generally considered riper. The fruits should be firm to slightly hard with a fresh fragrance. Their skins should be smooth without any bruises or gouges. Some apples have dry, tan or brown-colored areas on their skin. This is known “scald”, and it does not affect the flavor of the apple in any way. Different varieties of apples are available, and the choice of a sweeter or more tart fruit depends on the way you want to enjoy your apples – raw or cooked. The Red and Golden Delicious are among the sweetest apples while the Braeburn and Fuji apples are slightly tart. Gravenstein, Pippin, and Granny Smith apples have tart flavor, but they are most suitable for cooking as they are able to retain their texture.
It should be noted that consuming whole apples is a better option than consuming apple juice because the whole apples are rich in dietary fiber and the current processes of juicing drastically reduce the polyphenolic phytonutrient content found in the whole fruit.
When handled with care, apples can be stored for a relatively long period of 3 to 4 months. Before proceeding to store the apples, they should be inspected for bruises, cuts, and soft spots. Then they should be sorted by size- small, medium and large. Since the large ones do not store well, they should be eaten first. Fresh apples should be kept at room temperature for a few days and then refrigerated. Cold storage of apples at low temperatures of 35-40 F helps to minimize loss of nutrients as well as maintains some moisture in the cold storage area. This is the ideal storage temperature, and the apples are likely to suffer damage if the temperature dips below 30F and will ripen quickly if the temperature rises above 40F. Over the period of storage involving months, there is a loss of both flavonoid and non-flavonoid polyphenols from apples but valuable amount of polyphenols and nutrients still remain.
An apple that is bruised should be removed from the good ones as it will release unusual amounts of ethylene gas that can pose a risk to other apples, thus decreasing their shelf life. Boxed apples should be kept in a cool dark place, preferably in a root cellar where they will not freeze as freezing can rupture all their cells, turning them into a large bruise. However, they should be kept away from potatoes as the latter release gas that can cause apples to get spoilt faster.
Cut apples turn brown if left open in the air. Thus to avoid this discoloration, they should be dipped in an ascorbic juice such as pineapple or lemon juice or powder. The apples should be washed in running cold water before using them to clear any surface dust and pesticide or fungicide residues. Besides, they should be checked regularly for signs of spoilage, and the damaged fruit should be eliminated.
Tips For Usage (Cooking/Eating)
Apples are extremely versatile fruits that can be eaten alone or used as an ingredient in several recipes. The skin of an apple contains unusual amounts of nutrients, and so, it should be eaten with its skin on. Even if you are using the apples in a recipe, it is advisable to use them unpeeled to reap their full nutritional value.
Before using the apple, make sure to scrub its skin gently with a natural bristle brush for 10 to 15 minutes to remove the
pest proof coating of wax. Processing of apples such as boiling or extraction of apple juices often results in the loss of polyphenols or other nutrients. Hence, consumption of raw apples is the best option to obtain all the nutrients. Given below are some of the tips to enjoy this delicious fruit.
- Apples can be eaten directly. Besides satisfying your sweet tooth, they can be a nutritious treat. All you need to do is hold the unpeeled apple and take a bite. You will notice that the apple tastes sweeter near the core. Alternatively, you can also eat sliced apples.
- Diced apples can be added to fruit and green salads. Beets and apples can be combined in a refreshing salad garnished with walnuts and endive and tossed in light vinaigrette.
- Chopped apples can be braised with red cabbage. Pork chops can be braised with apple cider and served with tender red onions and sweet Granny Smith apples.
- Apple juice is a refreshing drink and can be prepared at home by blending whole apples in a powerful blender. Commercial apple juices fall into two categories “clear” and “cloudy”. Clear apple juice does not contain the pulpy apple solids called apple pomace while the cloudy apple juice retains some of these pulpy solids.
- Applesauce can be prepared by mixing sliced peeled apples, water, and sugar in a 2-quart microwave safe dish. This should be covered and microwaved on high power for 6 to 8 minutes. Now, the mixture can be processed or blended to make the sauce. You can also make chunky applesauce by mashing with a potato masher or cutting with a pastry blender.
- Apples can be used to make healthy desserts that satisfy your sweet tooth as well. For instance, you can bake apples and blackberries and serve it with crumbled sugar-cone topping.
a. Apple Tea
- 1/3 cup black tea leaves
- 1L water for brewing
- 1L water for serving
- Sugar, as required
- 1 medium sized apple
- Cloves and cinnamon, as required
Steps To Make Apple Tea
Step 1: Fill a saucepan with 2L of water. Now, boil the water.
Step 2: Wash the apple and cut it into 1 inch-by-1 inch pieces. Remove the stem and the seeds but do not remove the skin of the apple.
Step 3: Add the apple pieces to the boiling water and cook it for roughly 5 to 7 minutes.
Step 4: Now, add the cloves and cinnamon to the boiling water. Leave it boiling for another 5-10 minutes.
Step 5: Strain the apple mixture through a colander and add it to a pitcher.
Step 6: Add sugar and stir well. To give it a healthier twist, replace sugar with honey.
Step 7: After refrigerating for a while, pour the freshly made tea into the glasses filled with ice cubes.
Step 8: Garnish with apple slices. You can refrigerate apple tea for up to 3 days.
Side Effects Of Apple Tea
Apart from benefits, apple tea also has some side effects that you should be aware of. Check them out here:
- Pregnant women and those who are breastfeeding should avoid the consumption of apple tea. Apple tea consumption can cause certain reactions in the body that can harm the growing fetus as well as the infant.
- Certain properties of apple tea can cause allergic reactions in a few cases. So, if you are allergic to apples, avoid apple tea!
- If you are under medication, be extra careful! Apple tea can interact with certain medications and harm the body. Talk to your doctor in that case.
- Apple tea is an amazing way to keep your body healthy and strong. It can be a healthy replacement for the regular tea. So, if you cannot do without a cup of tea a day, switch to apple tea!
b. Apple Butter
- 10 and a half pounds of apple
- 4 cups of white sugar
- 3 cups of apple cider
- 2 cups of powdered cinnamon
- 2 cups of grounded nutmeg
- Chop up the apples into quarters and add them to a slow cooker. Add the sugar to the apple and keep stirring.
- Now pour the apple cider into the cooker so that the fruit doesn’t stick to the bottom.
- Add some more spices and stir.
- Cover the slow cooker now and let it cook for 2 hours. Turn down the heat and let it cook slowly for 12 hours.
- Now check the apples every five hours. It should be soft with large chunks of juice.
- Place the apples in a blender now and process fruit until it has become soft and juicy. Continue blending until the apples have been processed entirely.
- Now pour the mixture into the slow cooker again. Cook without the cover on. You can add spices to the mixture now if you like.
- You can preserve the apple butter by placing it in fruit jars, bottles, and other small containers.
c. Cinnamon Sugar Apple Butter Donuts
This toothsome and budget friendly recipe is perfect for dessert. They could take a little time to cook perfectly, but once you have made it the right way, your dish is going to impress everyone for sure.
- 2 cups of flour
- ¾ cups of brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 2 teaspoon of table salt
- 2 tablespoon of baking soda
- Half a teaspoon of cinnamon
- Half a cup of apple butter
- 2 eggs
- Half a cup of chopped apples
- 2 tablespoons of melted butter
- Heat your oven to 425 degrees at first. Spray your donut pans with some cooking spray at first.
- Now get hold of a large bowl and whisk with some flour, brown sugar, baking soda, and cinnamon. Don’t forget to add apple butter and milk. The melted butter and eggs come next.
- Mix properly and fold in the chopped apples.
- Now pour the batter into each donut cup till it is 2/3rd full.
- Bake for 9 minutes approximately.
- Let it cool for 5 minutes.
- Pour yourself a cup of coffee and enjoy these freshly baked donuts.
d. Salted Caramel Apple Cupcakes
These cupcakes would surprise your best friend on her birthday. The combination of salted caramel, sour cream, and apples taste absolutely delicious when cooked right. Here is how you should prepare the dish.
- One stick of butter
- 2/3rd cups of brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon of vanilla
- 1 cup of flour
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of grounded cinnamon
- One-fourth cup of apple butter
- 2 to 3 small apples
- One-fourth cup of sour cream
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Chop your apples and place them aside.
- Now get hold of a large bowl and whisk some cream, brown sugar, and butter.
- Beat the eggs one at a time too.
- Mix in the vanilla as well.
- Now take another medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon
- Beat the flour mixture and wet the ingredients into a large bowl.
- Mix the apple and sour cream next. Beat the rest of the flour mixture.
- Fold the chopped apples too.
- Line them up in cupcake liners.
- Fill the cup with 2/3rds of the batter.
- Bake in the oven for 25 minutes approx.
- Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes before serving.
See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:
|Apple fruit (Malus domestica)|
|Fresh, Nutritive value per 100 g, ORAC value-5900|
|(Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)|
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||0.17 g||0.5%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.40 g||6%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.061 mg||1%|
|Vitamin A||54 IU||2%|
|Vitamin C||4.6 mg||8%|
|Vitamin E||0.18 mg||1%|
|Vitamin K||2.2 µg||2%|
Overall, apples contain a great variety of everything you need. This little fruit is jam-packed! You wouldn’t want to waste the golden benefits that apples provide. So grab an apple and start increasing your level of health one bite at a time. Let us know what else you love about apples in the comments!
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