Apples 101: Benefits, Weight Loss Potential, Side Effects, and More

For such a small fruit, apples pack a huge health punch, potentially helping with:

Disease Prevention

Apples are packed with a variety of disease-fighting phytochemicals, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, RDN, a dietitian at Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. There are many lifestyle forces working against your health, like stress, lack of sleep, or sitting too much, that generate free radicals. Of course, an apple cannot alone make up for any of those, but getting more antioxidants into your diet will help support your body’s defenses against diseases like cancer, notes the American Cancer Society. (3)

Supporting Immunity

What’s more, apples contain vitamin C (one medium-size fruit has 9 percent of your DV). “That’s not as much as an orange, but vitamin C is important for immunity,” says Kirkpatrick. Because maintaining a healthy immune system is likely on your mind as you head into winter, when cold and flu season is in full swing, any extra bump in C helps.

Promoting Blood Sugar, Heart, and Gut Health

Finally, apples are impressive in their 4 g of fiber. This comes from a combination of both insoluble fiber (from the peel) and soluble fiber (from the pectin in apples), explains Kirkpatrick. Fiber in general slows down digestion to help keep blood sugar balanced. Insoluble fiber will promote bowel movement regularity, while pectin is associated with both cardiovascular and gut health, according to research in June 2015 in the journal Nutrients. (4)

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