There is a very popular saying in Spain, but whose real origin is in the United Kingdom: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away“, Which could be translated as”an apple a day will keep the doctor away“. While the phrase was first coined in 1913, its original basis is a Pembrokeshire (Welsh) proverb that originated in 1866.
So we’ve been linking apple consumption to health for over 150 years, but research indicates that “More is not better”: the amount of this fruit that we take will be irrelevant if we do not maintain other healthy habits. Although, yes, adding the odd apple to the usual diet can benefit us in some aspects.
As we already reviewed at the time regarding the consumption of bananas, the apple is also a nutritionally dense fruit, yet low in calories. It is a food rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
A medium-sized apple it barely has about 90-95 kcal, of which 25 grams are carbohydrates and 4.5 grams are fiber. Likewise, its content in vitamin C, copper, potassium and vitamin K, among other micronutrients, stands out.
Between the antioxidants from apple, apart from the aforementioned vitamin C and its potential to block free radicals, quercetin, caffeic acid and epicatechin also stand out.
On the other hand, when it comes to cardiovascular health, studies have suggested that Apple Consumption May Reduce Risk of Chronic Diseases like heart disease. A study of more than 20,000 adults concluded that the higher the consumption of white-fleshed fruits and vegetables (such as apples), the lower the risk of having a stroke or stroke.
For its part, fiber contained in apples would also collaborate in improvements in blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both important factors to reduce cardiovascular risk in general.
On the other hand, as for cancer risk is concerned, apples are known to contain several compounds capable of preventing their development, including antioxidants and flavonoids. A review of 41 studies suggested that the higher the consumption of apples, lower risk of lung cancer; another different study obtained similar relationships between the consumption of apples and Colorectal cancer.
Finally, a third investigation in this regard related the consumption of fruits and vegetables in general with a increased protection against various types of cancer, such as the stomach, colon, lung, oral cavity and esophagus. Even so, the authors of these works emphasize the need for further research in this regard.
But apples would not only be a potential protective element against cardiovascular disease and cancer, two of the causes of higher mortality in the world today. There would be some other lesser known benefits.
On the one hand, apples and their fiber content have been shown to promote the feeling of satiety, reducing caloric intake, and thus increasing the weightloss. In addition, apple consumption would reduce up to 28% the risk of developing diabetes compared to not consuming apples.
On the other hand, the consumption of apples would have been related to improvements in bone, brain and lung health. Specifically, the higher the consumption of fruits in general, the higher the bone density and the lower the risk of osteoporosis. Eating apples in particular would reduce oxidative stress in the brain and delay aging. Even apple consumption would have been linked to a lower risk of asthma.
Disadvantages of eating apples
Although the reality is that it is very unlikely that eating an apple a day can harm your health, excesses can always be harmful: Eating too many apples a day could have its drawbacks, no matter how healthy its consumption at low doses is.
For example, a excessive fiber intake In a short period of time – several apples a day in this case – it could cause symptoms of gastrointestinal upset such as gas, bloating or stomach pain.
On the other hand, as with other fruits, apples contain a significant amount of carbohydrates, something that would not always be ideal. On low carb or ketogenic diets, apple consumption should be reduced or even avoided.
Finally, it is always better to look for the variety between fruits and vegetables instead of repeating the consumption of a single type of food especially on a daily basis. Among other examples of fruits, it could range from bananas, blueberries, oranges, mangoes, peaches, pears, pineapples, raspberries, or strawberries. All of them are dense in nutrients and low in calories. Variety is the spice, they say.