Apple fruit is a sweet edible fruit produced by an apple tree. Delicious and crunchy, apple fruit is one of the most popular and favorite fruits among the health conscious, fitness lovers who firmly believe in the concept of “health is wealth.” This wonderful fruit indeed packed with rich phytonutrients that in the real sense indispensable for optimal health and wellness. Certain antioxidants in apples have health promoting and disease prevention properties, and thereby, truly justifying the adage. Apple trees are cultivated worldwide and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today.
Types of Apple Fruit
There are four to seven pollination groups in apples, depending on climate:
- Group A – Early flowering, 1 to 3 May in England (‘Gravenstein’, ‘Red Astrachan’)
- Group B – 4 to 7 May (‘Idared’, ‘McIntosh’)
- Group C – Mid-season flowering, 8 to 11 May (‘Granny Smith’, ‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’)
- Group D – Mid/late season flowering, 12 to 15 May (‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Calville blanc d’hiver’)
- Group E – Late flowering, 16 to 18 May (‘Braeburn’, ‘Reinette d’Orléans’)
- Group F – 19 to 23 May (‘Suntan’)
- Group H – 24 to 28 May (‘Court-Pendu Gris’ – also called Court-Pendu plat)
One cultivar can be pollinated by a compatible cultivar from the same group or close (A with A, or A with B, but not A with C or D).
Nutritional value of Apple Fruit
|Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)|
|Energy||218 kJ (52 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||2.4 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||
|†Percentages are roughly approximated using US recommendations for adults.|
Apple Fruit Health Benefits /Uses
- Diabetes and weight loss – Not only may apples help decrease the risk of heart disease, cancer, and asthma, but apple consumption may also be associated with a lower risk for diabetes. In the previously discussed Finnish study of 10,000 people, a reduced risk of Type II diabetes was associated with apple consumption . Higher quercetin intake, a major component of apple peels, was also associated with a decreased risk in type II diabetes. Myrectin and berry intake were also associated with a decreased risk in type II diabetes, but onion, orange, grapefruit, and white cabbage intake were not associated with a lowered risk
- Antioxidant activity – Apples, and especially apple peels, have been found to have a potent antioxidant activity and can greatly inhibit the growth of liver cancer and colon cancer cells [6,7]. The total antioxidant activity of apples with the peel was approximately 83 μmol vitamin C equivalents, which means that the antioxidant activity of 100 g apples (about one serving of apple) is equivalent to about 1500 mg of vitamin C. However, the amount of vitamin C in 100 g of apples is only about 5.7 mg . Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, but this research shows that nearly all of the antioxidant activity from apples comes from a variety of other compounds. Vitamin C in apples contributed less than 0.4% of total antioxidant activity.
- Antiproliferative activity – Apples have been shown to have potent antiproliferative activity in several studies. When Caco-2 colon cancer cells were treated with apple extracts, cell proliferation was inhibited in a dose-dependent manner reaching a maximum inhibition of 43% at a dose of 50 mg/mL. The same trend was seen in Hep G2 liver cancer cells with maximal inhibition reaching 57% at a dose of 50 mg/mL . Eberhardt et al.  proposed that it is the unique combination of phytochemicals in the apples that are responsible for inhibiting the growth of tumor cells. Apples had the third highest antiproliferative activity when compared to eleven other commonly consumed fruits .
- Vitamin C – a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance against infectious agents, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
- Cardiovascular disease – A reduced risk of cardiovascular disease has been associated with apple consumption. The Women’s Health Study surveyed nearly 40,000 women with a 6.9-year follow-up and examined the association between flavonoids and cardiovascular disease . Women ingesting the highest amounts of flavonoids had a 35% reduction in risk of cardiovascular events. Flavonoid intake was not associated with risk of stroke, myocardial infarction, or cardiovascular disease death. Quercetin did not have any association with cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular events, myocardial infarction or stroke. However, both apple intake and broccoli intake were associated with reductions in the risk of both cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events. Women ingesting apples had a 13–22% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk.
- B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) – these vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health.
- Dietary fiber – the British National Health Service says that a diet high in fiber can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising.
- Phytonutrients – apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds”. These phytonutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
- Asthma and pulmonary function – Apple consumption has been inversely linked with asthma and has also been positively associated with general pulmonary health. In a recent study involving 1600 adults in Australia, apple and pear intake was associated with a decreased risk of asthma and a decrease in bronchial hypersensitivity, but total fruit and vegetable intake was not associated with asthma risk or severity . Specific antioxidants, such as vitamin E, vitamin C, retinol, and β-carotene, were not associated with asthma or bronchial hypersensitivity. Previously it had been found that apple intake, as well as selenium intake, was associated with less asthma in adults in the United Kingdom . This study surveyed nearly 600 individuals with asthma and 900 individuals without asthma about their diet and lifestyle. Total fruit and vegetable intake were weakly associated with asthma, and apple intake showed a stronger inverse relationship with asthma.
- Treat Anemia – Apples are useful in treating anemia since they are a rich source of iron. By increasing the number of red blood cells in the body, apples not only prevent anemia but also ensure a proper oxygenation of essential organ systems. This results in enhanced blood circulation and proper functioning of the organ systems.
- Boost Immune System – Apples rich in vitamin C, antioxidant compounds and protein can have a major role in preventing weakness, boosting immunity, and improving muscle tone. If you want to gain weight, apples should be a part of your daily diet. They also help in detoxifying the body and improving the overall health.
- Control Diabetes – Blood sugar control is essential for people who suffer from diabetes and the polyphenols in apples have been directly linked to reducing the uptake of by the body. This, in turn, reduces the fluctuation of blood sugar levels that occur in the bloodstream, an important factor for keeping diabetes in check. The polyphenols also lower glucose absorption in our digestive tract and stimulate the release of insulin from our pancreas, which is also necessary to keep the blood sugar levels in check. Finally, the polyphenols stimulate the insulin receptors on cells throughout our body, which speeds up the removal of sugar from our bloodstream and gets it to our cells for metabolism and proper organ function.
- Dental Care – Eating apple helps in cleaning both, the teeth and gums. When you eat apples, the fiber in them cleanses the teeth, while the properties of this fruit keep bacteria and viruses from infecting the body. Apples also stimulate the secretion of saliva (an alkaline compound) which reduces the ability of bacteria to multiply and grow in your mouth.
- Prevent Alzheimer’s – The antioxidant effects of all the phytonutrient compounds in apples certainly help to reduce Alzheimer’s diseases, since the degeneration of the brain that leads to Alzheimer’s has been linked to free radical activity. In terms of Parkinson’s, apples stop the gradual breakdown of dopamine-producing nerve cells, which can be an underlying cause of the disease.
- Boost Brain Health – Apples increase the amount of acetylcholine in the brain, which is linked to improving concentration, problem-solving, and memory.
- Treat Asthma – Apples have shown tremendous anti- behavior and in terms of asthma, they have stood out among other natural treatments. Quercetin, a flavonoid present in the apple skin helps reduce inflammation and strengthen the immune system.
- Prevent Heart Diseases – Apples help lower the risk of heart stroke and various other heart ailments. The antioxidant property of apples reduces the oxidation of fats, called lipid peroxidation. It also neutralizes various fats found in blood vessels that can exert dangerous pressure. The flavonoid quercetin reduces inflammation in our blood vessels. The polyphenol epicatechin also lowers the in the body.
- Lower Cholesterol – The soluble fiber present in apples helps to lower the level of cholesterol in the body, making it a strong defensive mechanism against diseases. Eating apples every day results in a 23% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and 4% increase in HDL (good) cholesterol in just six months.
- Improve Bone Health – Compounds like kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin present in apple have been linked to reducing inflammatory conditions like arthritis and gout. Thus, people suffering from rheumatism find apples very useful as they aid in the healing process.
- Improve Vision – Apples help to prevent conditions like macular degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. They also make the eyes stronger and improve eyesight and help in treating night blindness. Apples are rich in flavonoid compounds and antioxidant phytonutrients, which reduce the impact of free radicals on the eyes and prevent the various issues.
- Weight Loss – The water and fiber in apples make us feel and increase satiety, thereby reducing appetite and overeating. Apples actually speed up metabolism so that the additional calories consumed after eating an apple don’t register in our body. Meaning, they are burned off quicker, or not absorbed by the body at all. can be a great news for millions of people struggling with obesity.
- Hay fever (allergic rhinitis) – Early research suggests that taking a specific drink (Applephenon, Asahi Food and Healthcare Ltd) containing certain chemicals from apples, called polyphenols, daily for 4 weeks reduces symptoms of hay fever, such as sneezing and swelling inside the nose.
- Alzheimer’s Disease – Early research shows that drinking apple juice might improve mood and behavior in people with Alzheimer’s disease. But it doesn’t appear to improve memory or mental function.
- Hair loss in men – Early research suggests that applying a product containing procyanidin B-2, a chemical in apple, to the scalp might increase hair growth in men with hair loss.
- Cancer – Early research suggests that eating one or more apples daily might be linked with a lower risk of developing foodpipe (esophageal), colorectal, or voice box (larynx) cancer.
- Diarrhea – Some early research suggests that taking a specific combination product containing apple pectin and German chamomile by mouth for 1-3 days might reduce the number of stools and improve symptoms in children with diarrhea. Other research suggests that drinking apple juice might actually worsen episodes of diarrhea in infants.
- Softening and passing gallstones – Some early research suggests that drinking apple juice for 7 days and then adding olive oil on the seventh day before going to bed might soften gallstones and help them leave the body in a bowel movement.
- Lung cancer – There is some early evidence that eating more apples might lower the risk of developing lung cancer.
- Muscle strength – Early research shows that taking a specific blend of ancient peat and apple extract might increase strength and power in men participating in strength training.
- Weight loss – Some early research suggests that eating apples three times per day might modestly increase weight loss over a period of 12 weeks.
- Metabolic syndrome
- Heart problems.
- Cleaning teeth.