It’s no surprise that apples are good for you — why else would they have earned that “keep the doctor away” reputation? — but there are a number of lesser-known reasons to pick up a juicy one today.
Some of our favorite health benefits of apples are in the slideshow below. Let us know what else you love about apples in the comments!
1. Apples Lower Cholesterol: One medium-sized apple contains about four grams of fiber. Some of that is in the form of pectin, a type of soluble fiber that has been linked to lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. That’s because it blocks absorption of cholesterol, according to WebMD, helping the body to use it rather than store it.
2. Apples Keep You Full: Apple’s wealth of fiber can also keep you feeling full for longer without costing you a lot of calories — there are about 95 in a medium-sized piece of fruit. That’s because it takes our bodies longer to digest complex fiber than more simple materials like sugar or refined grains. Anything with at least three grams of fiber is a good source of the nutrient; most people should aim to get about 25 to 40 grams a day.
3. Apples Keep You Slim: One component of an apple’s peel (which also has most of the fiber) is something called ursolic acid, which was linked to a lower risk of obesity in a recent study in mice. That’s because it boosts calorie burn and increases muscle and brown fat, HuffPost UK reported.
4. Apples Prevent Breathing Problems: Five or more apples a week (less than an apple a day!) has been linked with better lung function, Health magazine reported, most likely because of an antioxidant called quercetin found in the skin of apples (as well as in onions and tomatoes), the BBC reported.
And the breath benefits of apples extend even further: A 2007 study found that women who eat plenty of the fruit are less likely to have children with asthma.
5 Apples Fight Colds: While they don’t quite rival oranges, apples are considered a good source of immune system-boosting vitamin C, with over 8 milligrams per medium-sized fruit, which amounts to roughly 14 percent of your daily recommended intake.