Apple nutrition facts
Carbs in apples
Apples are mainly composed of carbs and water. They’re rich in simple sugars, such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose.
Despite their high carb and sugar contents, their glycemic index (GI) is low, ranging 29–44.
The GI is a measure of how food affects the rise in blood sugar levels after eating. Low values are associated with various health benefits.
Apples are very rich in fiber. A single medium-sized apple (100 grams) contains about 4 grams of this nutrient, which is 17% of the Daily Value (DV).
A portion of their fiber comes from insoluble and soluble fibers called pectin. Soluble fiber is associated with numerous health benefits, partly because it feeds the friendly bacteria in your gut.
Fiber may also help improve fullness and cause weight loss while lowering blood sugar levels and boosting digestive function.
Vitamins and minerals
Apples boast many vitamins and minerals, though not in high amounts. However, apples are usually a good source of vitamin C.
- Vitamin C. Also called ascorbic acid, this vitamin is a common antioxidant in fruits. It’s an essential dietary nutrient that has many important functions in your body.
- Potassium. The main mineral in apples, potassium may benefit heart health when consumed in high amounts.
Other plant compounds
Apples are high in various antioxidant plant compounds, which are responsible for many of their health benefits. These include:
- Quercetin. A nutrient that also occurs in many plant foods, quercetin may have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anticancer, and antidepressant effects, according to animal studies.
- Catechin. A natural antioxidant, catechin is also present in large amounts in green tea and has been shown to improve brain and muscle function in animal studies.
- Chlorogenic acid. Also found in coffee, chlorogenic acid has been found to lower blood sugar and cause weight loss in some studies.
Apples and weight loss
Two properties of apples — their high fiber and low calorie contents — make them a weight-loss-friendly food. For this reason, this fruit may be a useful addition to a weight loss diet, especially if eaten between or before meals.
Health benefits of apples
Blood sugar control and type 2 diabetes
Some evidence suggests that eating apples can help lower blood sugar levels and protect against diabetes.
Some of the antioxidants in apples may also slow down your digestion and absorption of sugars.
Blood cholesterol and heart disease
A human study in Finland showed that those who consumed more than 1.9 ounces (54 grams) of apples per day were at a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease.
Specifically, the risk of dying from heart disease was 43% lower in women and 19% in men.
Many test-tube and animal studies suggest that apple phytonutrients can protect against cancers of the lungs and colon.
One study indicated that those who consumed 1 or more apples per day were at a lower risk of cancer, including a 20% and 18% lower risk of colorectal and breast cancers, respectively.
Apples are generally well tolerated, however, they may cause problems for people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) because they contain FODMAPs, a wide category of fibers that cause digestive symptoms, including gas and abdominal pain, in some people.
Their fructose content may also be problematic for people with fructose intolerance.