En español | Not only is apple picking a great way to spend a fall day, it’s also a good time to shine a light on the health benefits of this yummy fruit. Indeed, there are many reasons the apple of the famed adage may keep the doctor away. Here are just three of them.
1. Apples may help you lose weight.
A medium-sized apple contains only about 95 calories but it packs 4.4 grams of fiber (about 18 percent of the minimum daily target) and boasts a high water content. Therefore, it will fill you up — but without all the added calories. Indeed, a 2016 study of 124,000 people published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) found a relationship between a diet rich in flavonoids and weight control. Among the foods making the biggest difference were apples, which contain flavonoid polymers, a beneficial plant compound.
2. Apples may lower your risk of cancer.
Researchers at Cornell University have identified several compounds — triterpenoids — in apple peel that can inhibit or kill cancer cells in laboratory cultures. “We found that several compounds have potent anti-proliferative activities against human liver, colon and breast cancer cells and may be partially responsible for the anticancer activities of whole apples,” said Rui Hai Liu, then a Cornell associate professor of food science, in a written statement in 2007. Researchers also have noted that the fiber in apples may be beneficial in reducing the risk of colorectal cancer. Underscoring these findings is a review of several studies published in 2016 that associated the consumption of apples with a lower risk of cancer.
3. Apples may also lower your risk of diabetes.
Various studies have pointed to a connection between apple consumption and a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Why? One reason may be the antioxidants in apples, which offer a wide range of health benefits. In addition, apples are packed with quercetin, a plant pigment that keeps insulin resistance at bay by helping the body secrete insulin more efficiently. Insulin resistance is a powerful predictor of future development of type 2 diabetes. Apples are “filled with antioxidants, and also there’s fiber in the fruit that naturally slows the digestion of the sugars,” Karen Ansel, a registered dietician nutritionist, told Fox News. In addition, a 2017 study of about 500,000 people in China found that those who ate fruit daily — including apples — were 12 percent less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who never or rarely ate fruit.