Everyone has heard the old saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But even if you’re well-aware that apples are good for you, you might be curious as to what exactly makes them so healthy. Often ranked among the healthiest foods, apples are known for including a number of important nutritional benefits. Learn more about what vitamins are in apples along with other healthy substances to see why it’s so important to include this nutritional powerhouse in your diet.
Plenty of Vitamins
Apples contain a high amount of vitamin C. This is a powerful natural antioxidant that can help boost your body’s resistance to both infectious agents and damage caused by free radicals. Each time you eat an apple, you’ll get a healthy dose of this important vitamin.
B-complex vitamins are also found in apples. This includes riboflavin, thiamin and vitamin B-6, all of which are essential in maintaining red blood cells and keeping your nervous system strong and healthy.
Apples include vitamin K as well. This vitamin helps to make proteins, which strengthens your bones and encourages normal blood clotting.
Vitamin E is found in smaller amounts in apples compared to these other vitamins. However, this vitamin does contribute to healthier skin and a stronger immune system.
Nutrients Your Body Needs
Besides vitamins, apples are filled with lots of healthy nutrients. Here are some of the other nutritional benefits you get from eating apples:
Dietary fiber: Dietary fiber is a key component of apples and is actually a type of carbohydrate. Best known for helping to prevent and relieve constipation, dietary fiber is great for keeping you “regular.” However, it offers a number of other important health benefits. It helps you to maintain a healthy weight, lowers cholesterols levels and can reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Keep in mind that most of the fiber is found in the apple peel, so leave the peel on to enjoy these health benefits.
Phytonutrients: Apples also include lots of phytonutrients. These polyphenolic compounds function as antioxidants that can protect against damage from free radicals. In addition, they can provide anti-inflammatory effects and enhance your immune system.
Minerals: When you eat apples, you’ll get a boost of important minerals like calcium, potassium and phosphorus. These minerals are required by the body in order to perform various functions, like strengthening your bones (calcium), building muscle (potassium) and filtering out waste (phosphorus).
Healthy Benefits of Apples
Besides providing the incredible nutritional content described above, apples have also been linked to a number of amazing health benefits. For example, studies have linked eating apples to better neurological health, which may help to prevent neurogenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s disease. Another study found that people who ate more apples had a lower risk of thrombotic stroke.
Keeping your weight in check may be easier if you include apples in your diet. A study found that apples had a beneficial effect on good gut bacteria, which may help to prevent obesity.
Apples can work wonders for your cholesterol, too. One study found that older women who ate apples everyday lowered their bad cholesterol by 23 percent in just six months. This dietary habit also increased their good cholesterol by 4 percent in the same time period.
If you want to improve your health, include more apples in your diet. This fruit offers key nutritional benefits you don’t want to miss out on.