An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Apples are a healthy, nutritious piece of fruit that you can eat anywhere.
A medium-sized apple has about 85% of its weight in water. Water-rich foods fill you up and ultimately lead to a reduced calorie intake.
Related - How Many Calories in a Banana?
Along with lowering your caloric intake, the density of water is 0 kcal per gram - adding 0 calories to your food. Many foods that contain a lot of water generally has a lot of fiber.
Several studies have shown that foods with a low energy density promote fullness. This leads to weight loss, improved digestion, and weight loss.
A study compared the difference between eating an oat cookie and an apple. Both have similar calorie and fiber content, but the study showed those who ate apples reduced their overall calorie intake and had improved weight loss.
Apples Are Full of Fiber
A medium-sized apple has about 4 grams of fiber. That's 16% of the recommended intake for women and 11% for men.
Since the fiber content of an apple is so high compared to how many calories it has, it's an excellent food choice to reach your daily fiber needs.
While it depends on the type of fiber you eat, many studies suggest eating more fiber is linked to a lower body weight and a significantly reduced risk of obesity.
The fiber makes you feel fuller for longer and you've eaten fewer calories. That's why high-fiber foods are great to help lower caloric intake without having to feel hungry.
Fiber improves digestive health and feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut. This all equates to a stronger metabolism and better weight management.
Other Foods High in Fiber
- Collard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Potatoes - Russet, Red, Sweet
In general, the darker the color, the higher the fiber content.
Beans and legumes are flavorful and fiber filled. Add them to your salads, soups, and chili.
Bread and Grains
- Select 7-Grain
- Dark Rye
- Cracked Wheat
- Bulgur Wheat
- Brown Rice
- Wild Rice
Some cereals are full of fiber - find one that has 5 or more grams per serving. Watch the sugar content.
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
Nuts are great for fiber and fats, but they are calorie-dense. A handful of nuts go a long way.
Nutritional Facts of a Large Apple
A large apple that measures approximately 3.25" in diameter will give you about 116 calories.
- Sodium - 2mg
- Potassium - 239mg
- Total Carbs - 31g
- Dietary Fiber - 5g
- Sugars - 23g
- Protein - 1g
Nutritional Facts of a Medium Apple
A medium apple that measures approximately 3" in diameter will give you about 95 calories.
- Sodium - 2mg
- Potassium - 195mg
- Total Carbs - 25g
- Dietary Fiber - 4g
- Sugars - 19g
- Protein - <1g
Nutritional Facts of a Small Apple
A small apple that measures approximately 2.75" in diameter will give you about 77 calories.
- Sodium - 1mg
- Potassium - 159mg
- Total Carbs - 21g
- Dietary Fiber - 4g
- Sugars - 15g
- Protein - <1g
Other Benefits of Apples
Since apples are so full of nutrients, it's hard not to go over some of the other benefits of eating apples.
Apples are known for their vitamin C and potassium - both more than 5% of your recommended daily intake.
Apples also have vitamin K, B6, manganese, and copper. Eating the peel of your apple has been shown to lower disease risk and provide many other health benefits.
They Have a Low Glycemic Index
The glycemic index measures how much a food affects your blood sugar levels after you eat it.
Low glycemic foods have been shown to be useful in controlling your blood sugar levels and weight since they keep your blood sugar levels balanced rather than spiking them.
Apples Are Great for Heart Health
All of the nutrients, antioxidants, and fiber in apples all help reduce your risk of heart disease. They've been shown to reduce cholesterol and inflammation levels, both big in heart disease prevention.
The antioxidants found in apples may actually prevent certain types of cancer. There are several studies out there that show associations between apple intake and lung cancer prevention.
So to answer the "apple a day" question... Yes.
Eating one apple a day has been shown to significantly reduce the risk of mouth, throat, breast, ovarian, and colon cancer.
In animal studies, consuming apple juice helped prevent mental decline and Alzheimer's disease.
Another mice study shows that apple juice actually reduced mental decline by decreasing the amount of harmful reactive oxygen species in their brain tissue.
Lastly, apple juice has been found to preserve neurotransmitters; these are important in optimal brain function and Alzheimer's disease prevention.
But Apples Don't Taste Very Sweet to Me
If you are used to eating hyper-sweet processed foods, apples probably won't taste so appealing.
Apples won't taste very sweet, and you may not like the tart ones... But there's an upside to this.
As you slowly decrease the processed foods you eat, your taste buds will slowly start tasting naturally-sweet foods as sweet. You've simply overloaded your palette and you have to cut down on sugar.
Create a Healthy Lifestyle
Remember, the sugar in fruit is different than the highly-processed refined sugars in unhealthy foods - you simply can't compare the sugar in a chocolate covered doughnut to the sugar in an apple.
Whole, nutritious foods always trump highly-processed crap.
Making reasonable food choices and enjoying foods in moderation is the key to a healthy lifestyle.
Get up and moving, lift some weights, and enjoy life.