An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away: 9 Surprising Benefits of Eating Apples

by Dawn Chen
FOOD  |  October 09, 2017
  • There are many benefits to eating apples.
    1 / 10 There are many benefits to eating apples.

    An apple a day keeps the doctor away – true or false? This old English proverb has been thrown around since we were kids, but it turns out that chomping on the humble apple does have its plus points. Reap the most benefits of apples by eating them with their skin on, as most of the vitamins and fibre can be found in the skin. Here’s what you stand to gain from eating apples, whether or not you decide to have them daily.

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  • High in antioxidants
    2 / 10 High in antioxidants

    Apples aren’t the first fruits that come to mind when you think of antioxidants, but these humble fruits are actually very high in phytochemicals. Previous studies have linked eating apples with a reduced risk of certain cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma and diabetes thanks to its high level of antioxidants such as quercetin and catechin.

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  • Apples are good for your teeth
    3 / 10 Apples are good for your teeth

    Your pearly whites are going to be very happy when you chew on apples. The hard, crunchy texture of the apple helps to scrap away food particles and bacteria on teeth, and biting into them also stimulates the production of saliva to keep tooth decay at bay.

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  • Prevent Alzheimer’s disease
    4 / 10 Prevent Alzheimer’s disease

    In a study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, it was found that drinking apple juice helped improve memory in mice who exhibited Alzheimer-like symptoms and reduce the effects of brain ageing. The mice had the human equivalent of two glasses of apple juice daily for one month.

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  • Reduce cancer risk
    5 / 10 Reduce cancer risk

    Researchers at Cornell University have suggested that a component found in apple peels – called triterpenoids – have the ability to slow down and inhibit the growth and activity of cancer cells in lab tests. Their earlier research also found that apple extracts could reduce the size of tumours in rats.

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  • Cut diabetes risk
    6 / 10 Cut diabetes risk

    In a Chinese study on over half a million people, those who ate fruit daily were 12 per cent less likely to get type 2 diabetes than those who never or rarely ate it. Though fruits have naturally-occurring sugars, they’re still beneficial as the fibre content means you won’t be hit by a rush so quickly. Pick fruits that release sugars more slowly into the blood, such as apples, pears and oranges.

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  • Good for weight loss
    7 / 10 Good for weight loss

    Have you realised that it’s actually pretty filling to eat an entire apple in one sitting? That’s because apples boast a high water and fibre content. Both work together to promote a feeling of fullness since water satiates you and fibre helps to slow down digestion. A study published in the journal Appetite also found that eating whole apples makes one more full than just drinking apple juice or eating applesauce.

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  • Reduces your risk of stroke
    8 / 10 Reduces your risk of stroke

    In a study published in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers followed over 9,200 participants over a 28-year period and found that those who ate the most apples had a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke (where a blood clot forms inside the brain’s artery and blocks blood flow to the brain). This was even after they adjusted for risk factors like age, body mass index, smoking frequency and other diseases like hypertension and diabetes.

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  • Lower cholesterol levels
    9 / 10 Lower cholesterol levels

    Researchers from The Florida State University are calling apples a “miracle fruit”. In a small-scale study with 160 women, they found that those who ate dried apples daily for six months had a 23 per cent decrease in LDL – also known as ‘bad’ – cholesterol. Furthermore, the extra 240 calories per day from the dried apples didn’t lead to weight gain for the women. Instead, those who ate the apples lost an average of 1.5kg during the study period. Study authors theorise that this could be because apples contain pectin, which gives a feeling of satiety.

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  • Keep asthma away
    10 / 10 Keep asthma away

    A UK study has shown that women who ate apples during their pregnancy had children who were less likely to suffer from wheezing problems or asthma at the age of five, compared to other children whose mums ate very little apples. No other protective effects against asthma or allergic diseases were found from other foods including vegetables, fruit juice, citrus fruits, whole grain products or dairy. Lead researcher Saskia Willers suggests that the beneficial effects come from powerful antioxidants called flavonoids that are abundant in apples.

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