Believe it or not, there are a staggering 7,500 varieties of apple around the world, although only 100 varieties are presently cultivated. We have archaeological evidence of apples being eaten as far back as Ancient Egypt, where one rich lady was sent on her way with a plate of sliced apples.
- Apples are an Excellent Source of Fibre
Just one medium sized apple contains 17% of our recommended daily fibre intake. The fibre of an apple is made up of insoluble and soluble (pectin) fibre.
- Insoluble Fibre
- Lowers fat absorption and can therefore help with weight loss
- Can help lower cholesterol over time
- Helps to stabilise blood sugar levels
- Reduces the risk of heart disease
- Promotes healthy gut bacteria
- Soluble Fibre
- Helps prevent diverticular disease
- Keeps us regular
- Apples are full of Antioxidants
Apples contain 14 types of phytonutrients (16 if you’re eating a red apple), all of which act as antioxidants, preventing molecules from being oxidised and allowing free radicals to form. It’s free radical damage which causes diseases such as cancer, heart disease and macular degeneration.
The concentration of these phytonutrients is greater in the skin than in the flesh, so it’s important not to peel apples. A recent study in Finland showed that a high intake of phytonutrients, especially from apples, reduced the risk of cancer by 20% overall and by 46% in the case of lung cancer.
- Apples Reduce the Risk of Diabetes
Everyone with diabetes needs to keep control of their carb intake. A medium sized apple contains around 25 grams of carbs, of which 4.4 grams are fibre. This fibre slows down the digestive process and therefore the absorption of sugar. This means that sugar enters the bloodstream slowly, preventing the sugar rush you’d get if you ate a 100g bar of chocolate.
Apples contain polyphenols which also slow down the digestion of carbs and lower blood sugar levels. Apples are a good choice of fruit for diabetics.