You’ve heard the saying since you were a kid — “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Eating an apple a day shouldn’t be a substitute for seeing your doctor for wellness programs or physicals, but it is a good idea to add one to your diet each day.
Here are 5 reasons why you should eat an apple a day via Healthline:
1. Apples Are Nutritious
A medium apple — with a diameter of about 3 inches (7.6 centimeters) — equals 1.5 cups of fruit. Two cups of fruit daily are recommended on a 2,000-calorie diet.
One medium apple — 6.4 ounces or 182 grams — offers the following nutrients (1):
- Calories: 95
- Carbs: 25 grams
- Fiber: 4 grams
- Vitamin C: 14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
- Potassium: 6% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
What’s more, the same serving provides 2–4% of the RDI for manganese, copper, and the vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6.
Apples are also a rich source of polyphenols. While nutrition labels don’t list these plant compounds, they’re likely responsible for many of the health benefits.
To get the most out of apples, leave the skin on — it contains half of the fiber and many of the polyphenols.
2. Apples May Be Good for Weight Loss
Apples are high in fiber and water — two qualities that make them filling.
In one study, people who ate apple slices before a meal felt fuller than those who consumed applesauce, apple juice, or no apple products (2).
In the same study, those who started their meal with apple slices also ate an average of 200 fewer calories than those who didn’t (2).
In another 10-week study in 50 overweight women, participants who ate apples lost an average of 2 pounds (1 kg) and ate fewer calories overall, compared to those who ate oat cookies with a similar calorie and fiber content (3).
Researchers think that apples are more filling because they’re less energy-dense, yet still deliver fiber and volume.
Furthermore, some natural compounds in them may promote weight loss.
A study in obese mice found that those given a supplement of ground apples and apple juice concentrate lost more weight and had lower levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and total cholesterol than the control group (4).
3. They’re Linked to a Lower Risk of Diabetes
Several studies have linked eating apples to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes (10).
In one large study, eating an apple a day was linked to a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes, compared to not eating any apples. Even eating just a few apples per week had a similarly protective effect (11).
It’s possible that the polyphenols in apples help prevent tissue damage to beta cells in your pancreas. Beta cells produce insulin in your body and are often damaged in people with type 2 diabetes.
4. They May Have Prebiotic Effects and Promote Good Gut Bacteria
Apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that acts as a prebiotic. This means it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
Your small intestine doesn’t absorb fiber during digestion. Instead, it goes to your colon, where it can promote the growth of good bacteria. It also turns into other helpful compounds that circulate back through your body (5).
New research suggests that this may be the reason behind some of the protective effects of apples against obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.
5. Apples May Be Good for Bone Health
Eating fruit is linked to higher bone density, which is a marker of bone health.
Researchers believe that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory compounds in fruit may help promote bone density and strength.
Some studies show that apples, specifically, may positively affect bone health (15).
In one study, women ate a meal that either included fresh apples, peeled apples, applesauce, or no apple products. Those who ate apples lost less calcium from their bodies than the control group (11).
Read more benefits via Healthline here.
At Physician’s Weight Control and Wellness, our weight loss programs are unique in that they are physician-guided and individually tailored to each patient. Because every patient is different, no two treatment plans are the same. The same philosophy applies to our nutrition consulting and coaching programs. These programs are designed to be the next step after meeting with our doctors to ensure your investment in your new lifestyle takes root.