How far you know about apples?
As you know apples are one of the widely produced fruits in the world. Many scientists use Apple juices and extracts, in different studies due to the high content of various phytochemicals. You will be amazed to hear the potential of these phytochemicals in reducing disease risk and improving health. This is why some researches pay huge attention on apples for new product development sectors, scientists, nutritionists, and day- to day consumers.
Nutrient composition of Apple
Basically apples consists of Carbohydrates ,proteins ,soluble and insoluble fibres and vitamin C. In addition it mainly of have many phytochemicals including,
- Chlorogenic acid etc.
All these compounds possess strong antioxidant properties.
This phytochemical composition varies between different varieties of apples. Particularly this can be changed slightly during the maturation stage and Ripening stage of the fruit. Besides Storage and processing also has considerable effects on phytochemicals. So you should remember that, the amount of phytochemicals in taken to your body changes with the variety and the storage and processing conditions of apples.(1)
Many of the phytochemicals in apples belong to the polyphenol category. Most of the polyphenols belong to the flavonoid group. You may have heard how important polyphenols in our health. That’s why most scientists consider apples as a very good phytochemical reservoir. Those main polyphenols present in the apples include :
- Hydroxycinnamic acids
- Flavanols (Procyanidins and epicatechins)
- Flavonols etc.
- When considering the antioxidants in apples, it has been found that apple peels have the highest potential antioxidant activity which can prevent the growth of colon and liver cancer cells.
- It has been found that total antioxidant activity of apples is 15 times of vitamin C with the peel was
- Although Vitamin C is considered a powerful antioxidant, researchers reveal that all of the antioxidant activity of apples comes from a wide range of other compounds including flavonols and flavanoids. Among them, Vitamin C contributed only to 0.4% of total antioxidant activity.(2)
What are the Functional and health benefits of Apples??
Most people eat apples as a day-to-day food. Have you ever thought how far apples can affect your health? You will be thrilled to see the results.
01. Apples for Prevention of cancer
Most probably You are not aware of how many disorders that you can prevent with the consumption of apples. Well, cancer is one of them. Some scientists suggest that apples have the ability to prevent the occurrence of cancers like,(3,4)
- Lung cancer
- Colon cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Ovary cancer
- Breast cancer in the human body.
Studies on anticancer effects
There were many studies focusing on experimenting with the anticancer effects of apples. Do you know why? Because Apples are rich in anthocyanins. In certain studies when apple peel extracts rich with anthocyanin, given to cancer patients, it showed a significant reduction in cell proliferation of cancer cells in a dose-dependent manner. (3,4)
Particularly in those experiments, the scientists found that at considerably very low concentrations like 45µg/ml (Micrograms)a 50% inhibition can happen and total inhibition can be taken place at a concentration of 70 µg/ml.
Furthermore, it was revealed that these extracts controlled some signal pathways of different enzymes involved in polyamine biosynthesis which act as potential regulators of cancer and also regulated some enzymes related to cancer. (3,4)
- In one investigation among ten fruits rich in anthocyanin fractions, apple showed the most significant reduction of cell proliferation ( multiplication of cancer cells )of cancer cells .Especially this was observed for breast cancer cells. So If you are a woman within the age of 30-50 better to consume apples as a habit. You won’t regret it!
- If you consume more apples, catechins along with other bioactive compounds in apples can reduce the risk of lung cancer in your body. You will get better results if apples are consumed along with onions in the diet.
- Apart from above, the phenolic mixtures of crushed and extracted juice of apples can also prevent the oxidative damage on colonic cells, Which may protect you from colon cancer. The most active compound here is the procyanidins (A form of flavonoid.produced by catechins and epicatechins) and pectins.
Now you know how important apples in the diet. Consume more apples in a healthy way and prevent your body from cancer.
02. How apples prevent cardiovascular diseases??
Consuming apples will prevent your body from diseases related to heart health. First, we’ll see what Conditions could be prevented. It includes :
- Coronary artery disease
- Angina pectoris
- Myocardial infarction
Flavonoids in apples have an inverse association with coronary mortality. This is how the importance of dietary intake of apples come into existence. Research Studies of several experts suggest that daily intake of apples can significantly reduce the risk of coronary mortality in women compared to men.
Now there is a huge emphasis in the world towards examining the causative factors for Non-communicable diseases. However, as you know cardiovascular disorders are one of the common non-communicable diseases that cause death in a higher percentage of the world population. (5)
You may have used to fast foods in your day-to-day food consumption. But Note that, these foods will result in cellular damage in your body tissues. This may be an initiating factor for a number of chronic diseases. During oxidative damage, there can be disruptions in DNA, lipids, protein, and other cellular compounds. (5)
How apples prevent those damages??
Apples are rich in dietary antioxidants. They down-regulate lipid peroxidation reactions by increasing the potential to scavenge free radicals in the body. This reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases in your body. Besides apple consumption can lower cholesterol levels and low-density lipids(LDL).
Those LDL lipids have a higher tendency in depositing in the blood vessels carrying blood to the heart. So the final result may be heart-related disorders. Total flavonoid content is considered as the main causative factor for preventing cardiovascular diseases. (5)
According to research experts, Apples along with onions and wines in the diet have better protection against cardiovascular diseases. Therefore Consume more apples and protect your heart health !!
03. How apples Prevent Asthma and promote Pulmonary function
Apples contain phytochemicals such as Vitamin C, retinol,β-carotene, and Vitamin E as antioxidants. They play an important role in asthma prevention. According to early researches, there is an inverse association between Apple consumption on
- Chronic pulmonary disease
Recent findings suggest that consumption of about 30g of apple per day associated with a 10% reduction of Asthma risk and related symptoms. Although apples contain many flavonoids such as flavones, flavonols, and catechins.
When considering effects on asthma, these compounds said to have less importance. You may wonder, then what compounds have asthma preventing properties? The answer is still pending.
Some scientists believe that these properties in apple responsible for asthma and pulmonary disease prevention are a complex cluster.It may be a combination of of known phytochemicals and that of unknown compounds.BUt they haven’t been identified yet. (6)
04. Apples and cognitive health
Do you ever wonder that apples have an effect on your cognitive health? Most probably answer is No. But there is growing evidence suggesting that dietary intakes of apples are related to cognitive decline and the risk of neurodegenerative diseases. According to recent research findings they say that,
- You can reduce the risk associated with Alzheimer’s disease by drinking concentrated apple juice.
- Apart from that impaired cognitive performance can also be reduced by the consumption of an apple juice concentrate. Significant improvements can be observed in cognitive performance. (7)
05. Apples Against Type 2 Diabetes
Surely You can reduce your blood sugar level through apple consumption. There is an inverse relationship between apple consumption and diabetes. Apples have been identified as one of the protective flavonoid-rich food that can reduce type 2 diabetes.
But according to some researcher’s views, the protective effect is mostly associated with catechins or polyphenolic components, not only with flavonoids. (8)
how apples prevent diabetes??
These catechins or polyphenolic compounds preserve pancreatic cell function and thereby reduce the oxidative tissue damage.
In addition, dihydrochalcones in apples can inhibit glucose transporters in the intestine to down-regulate glucose response.
Clearly These factors will give you proof about why we consider apple as an important fruit against diabetes
06. Apples Gastrointestinal protection from drugs
Surely Apples have potential effects on curing the injuries that happen to the intestinal mucosa. These are most possibly occur through inflammatory effects of drugs. The compounds responsible for these beneficial effects are polyphenols.
It’s obvious that Phenolic rich extracts of apples can protect gastric epithelial cells from oxidative damage. And also these apple extracts can scavenge nitrogen oxides. Clearly this is done by releasing some special compounds to saliva. It is also one of the gastroprotective effects of apples. (9)
Apple is a cheap and highly available fruit. Arrange your diet in a way that you can increase the apple consumption and enjoy the health benefits for better wellbeing!!