It’s no secret that I’m a fan of fall. And the fact that it’s apple season is just one more reason to love this time of year.
Apples are delicious, of course. But that’s far from the only reason to eat more of them. They’re also incredibly good for your health.
Every time you bite into a crisp, juicy apple, you’re taking in a ton of vitamins, minerals and good-for-you phytonutrients and flavonoids.
A single apple will provide you with 12 percent of your daily fiber needs.
Plus it delivers…
- vitamin K
- vitamin B6
- vitamin C
- and more
In other words, they’re swimming in so many nutrients it’s not surprising there are so many hidden apple health benefits.
And no matter whether you’re a Granny Smith girl or a Red Delicious dude there’s no better time to load up on apples then now, when they’re in season
BIG apple health benefits you’re going to LOVE
Following are three surprising apple health benefits that will have you stocking up on this delicious treat.
1. Reduce cancer risk:
There’s an amazing amount of antioxidant power packed into an apple. In fact, they contain the antioxidant equivalent of 1500 mg of vitamin C, one of the most potent antioxidants that exists.
Experts say phytonutrient-rich apples are natural cancer fighters, with quercetin and kaempferol doing much of the heavy lifting. And a number of studies have found the fruit can help reduce your cancer risk, and slow its spread if it develops.
Research has shown eating apples could significantly reduce your risk of cancer including lung, colon, mouth and breast cancers.1,2,3
In one review, Italian researchers concluded that eating apples at least once a day could slash the risk for stomach and esophageal tumors nearly in half. Plus lung tumor rates were nearly 25 percent lower in apple fans, while breast cancer cases dropped by a fifth.1
And a series of six Cornell University lab studies confirm an apple a day could help prevent killer breast cancer tumors. Apple extracts slashed the development of malignant tumors from 23 to 57 percent… depending on how much of the compound was used.4
While German researchers found that folks who ate the most flavanols, such as those that you’ll find in apples, have a 23 percent lower risk of developing pancreatic cancer.5
And a recent study published in the journal Precision Oncology, confirmed that compounds found in apple peels can starve prostate cancer cells to keep the disease from spreading.6 (I shared more details about this study with Healthier Talk readers earlier this year. To catch up click here.)
2. Slash diabetes risk:
A Harvard study found folks who eat at least two servings a week of certain fruits, including apples, slashed their risk for type 2 diabetes by 23 percent, compared to those who ate less than a serving a month.7
Urosolic acid—a nutrient found mainly in the apple’s skin—gets the credit for reducing diabetes risk. According to researchers at the University of Iowa the compound helps convert calories into sugar burning muscle and brown fat.8
And folks who eat five or more apples a week have 23 percent less risk of developing type 2 diabetes than folks who aren’t apple fans, according to the results of a 24-year study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Apples are high in glucose-regulating soluble fiber and galacturonic acid, and low on the glycemic index, making them the perfect snack for anyone concerned about their blood sugar levels.
3. Boost heart health:
From cutting cholesterol to slashing stroke risk, apples could be your heart’s best friend.
But be sure you’re eating the skins. Researchers from Novia Scotia tested flavonoids from apple peels on ACE, an enzyme that’s behind high blood pressure. They found the skin extracts were six times more effective than extracts from the flesh of the apple were.9
And a Harvard study found that rutin, a flavonoid in apples, can help fight off blood clots. Which means eating more apples may slash your risk for heart attack and stroke.10
And Florida State University researchers say eating apples every day could cut your LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, by 23 percent while boosting HDL (“good”) cholesterol at the same time.11
It’s true what they say about apples. They’re brimming with apple health benefits. And no matter how much you like your doctor, I’m betting seeing less of him is high on your priority list.
So go ahead and shoot for an apple a day, especially now when they’re in season.
But keep in mind pesticide contamination is a concern with conventional apples. So be sure to spring for the organic variety. And never peel your apples. Many of the fruit’s nutrients and benefits are concentrated in the skin.
1. “Apple intake and cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies,” Public Health Nutr. 2016 Oct;19(14):2603-17
2. “An apple a day may hold colorectal cancer at bay: recent evidence from a case-control study,” Rev Environ Health. 2009 Jan-Mar;24(1):59-74
3. “An apple a day to prevent cancer formation: Reducing cancer risk with flavonoids,” Journal of Food and Drug Analysis, Volume 25, Issue 1, January 2017, Pages 119-124
4. “Fresh Apples Suppress Mammary Carcinogenesis and Proliferative Activity and Induce Apoptosis in Mammary Tumors of the Sprague−Dawley Rat,” J. Agric. Food Chem., 2009, 57 (1), pp 297–304
5. “Flavanols may help ward off pancreatic cancer,” Reuters, April 25, 2007, Research from the German Institute of Human Nutrition Potsdam-Rehbruecke reported at the annual meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research in Los Angeles
6. “Combinatorial treatment with natural compounds in prostate cancer inhibits prostate tumor growth and leads to key modulations of cancer cell metabolism,” npj Precision Oncology 1, Article number: 18 (2017)
7. “Fruit consumption and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective longitudinal cohort studies,” BMJ 2013; 347, Published 29 August 2013
8. “Ursolic Acid Increases Skeletal Muscle and Brown Fat and Decreases Diet-Induced Obesity, Glucose Intolerance and Fatty Liver Disease,” PLOsOne, Published: June 20, 2012
9. “Antihypertensive properties of flavonoid-rich apple peel extract,” Food Chemistry, Volume 135, Issue 4, 15 December 2012, Pages 2320-2325
10. “Protein disulfide isomerase inhibitors constitute a new class of antithrombotic agents,” J Clin Invest. 2012;122(6):2104–2113