If there’s one fruit that we’ve all been advised to include in our diet, it is apples. After all, they’re known to keep the proverbial doctor away. And while you might associate the word “apple” with a bright red fruit, green apples are just as nutritious and delicious, albeit slightly sour and tangy. Here are a few health benefits of green apples that you should keep in mind on your next grocery run.
1. Promotes Weight Loss
The calorie and carbohydrate content is lower in green apples by about 10% as compared to red apples. This makes a huge difference if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a steady one.1
Green apples can come to your rescue if you can’t stop binge eating but still want to lose weight. Their high fiber content takes a while to digest, in turn slowing down the effect of fructose (a type of sugar) in your body. Not only does this make you feel full for a long time, you’re also less likely to crave more food due to a sugar crash (which occurs when sugar gets digested too quickly).2 In addition to this, their high water content makes you feel full without packing on the calories.3 4 These two factors make green apples an ideal snack option, especially when you’re on a weight loss diet.
2. Improves Hair Quality
Of all the herbal remedies that are recommended for hair health, green apple is the most underrated. Studies have found that applying its paste or using a shampoo with green apple can help moisturize this scalp and, in turn, reduce dandruff.5 Besides this, consuming green apples will give you a good dose of vitamin C, in turn adding lustre to your hair.6 In addition to this, recent research has found that Procyanidin B-2 a compound found in apples can promote hair growth. However, this specific benefit needs further research.7
3. Invigorates Skin
Green apples might aid in the treatment of eczema. They contain quercetin, a plant compound, which has antioxidant and antihistamine properties. These properties reduce inflammation and histamine response in the body.8
Adding green apples to your skincare routine can help your skin glow. Studies have found that resveratrol, a plant compound (polyphenol), in green apples acts as an antioxidant to give you nourished and glowing skin. It also gets rid of the signs of aging, making your skin look youthful.9 It also hydrates your skin and improves its texture.10 Not able to get rid of the dark circles no matter how much sleep you get? The vitamin C in green apples speeds up cell regeneration, which, in turn, helps reduce dark circles.11
4. Protects Vision
Having green apples regularly can also protect your eyesight. The vitamin C, antioxidant, and phytonutrient content in them help fight free radical damage in the retina, protect the lens, and heal wounds in the cornea faster.12 The peel of green apples is rich in vitamin A which strengthens the outer layer of the eye and reduces the incidence of infections.13 Both vitamin A and C also fight night blindness and age-related vision complications.
5. Improves Digestion
We’re all guilty of loading up on unhealthy (but tasty, we know!) foods more often than we should. Unfortunately, most fast food is very high in carbohydrates and very low in fiber. And fiber is what your gut needs to keep your digestive system functioning well. Besides, let’s not forget all the additives we take in along with processed food. Here’s where green apples come in. Their fiber content eliminates most of the metals and unwanted food additives we take in. Fiber also relieves constipation by retains water (which causes stool to harden up, thus preventing ease of movement).14 At the same time, dietary fiber in apples also prevents diarrhea by soaking up excess water in the stool.15
6. Strengthens Joints
As you age, your bones begin to lose their strength, making it difficult to recover from fractures. And eating apples alongside keeping up your calcium intake can really help. The vitamin C in the green apples helps in the production of collagen, which strengthens joints and keeps them functioning well.16
7. Detoxifies The Liver
Worried about all the toxins and food additives you get for free with processed and junk foods? Green apples can help detox the liver by removing harmful toxins. These apples contain antioxidants and fibers that increase bile production, which is responsible for expelling the toxins before they reach the liver.
The apples also contain ursolic acid, which helps reduce the risk of liver disease, as observed in a study. The study conducted on obese mice noticed that those fed with ursolic acid did not suffer from fatty liver disease, unlike the others.17 So don’t go peeling the apple as it is just as important as the flesh of the fruit!
8. Strengthens The Immune System
Constantly succumbing to allergies and food infections? The culprit is likely your weakened immune system, which you can strengthen by pampering yourself with green apples.
Studies have shown that antioxidants can reverse the immune deficiencies that come with age.18 And these, along with the vitamins and minerals in the green apple boost your immunity to fight any allergies or infections.
9. Prevents Asthma
Including green apples in your diet might help prevent asthma. A study by the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine in 2001 showed that people who ate about 2 apples a day had a reduced risk of asthma. In addition to this eating apples regularly has been seen to lower asthma risk in pregnant women for about 5 years post-delivery.19 This benefit could be attributed to vitamin C in green apples, the lack of which is linked to asthma.20
10. Reduces The Risk Of Cancer
Although this might not be an all-out cure, apples can contribute majorly toward lowering cancerous cell growth, according to multiple studies. More specifically, studies have found that phytochemicals and flavonoids, both present in the peel of green apples, effectively reduce the growth of breast cancer cells.21 22 They might also inhibit liver and colon cancer cell growth.23 24
How To Eat Green Apples
If you plan to go for a smoothie or detox drink, here are a few examples of things that complement green apples very well:
Use any of these ingredients as per your taste and requirement.
When To Eat Green Apples
Eat On An Empty Stomach
Eating apples first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach, helps produce healthy cells and thus fight chronic conditions. This is because the antioxidants fight the free radicals in the body and the fruit hydrates your body adequately.
Try 3 Apples A Day
In his book “The 3-Apple-a-Day Plan,” Tammi Flynn suggested that eating an apple before each meal could help you eat less as the fiber in the apple curbs your appetite.27
A study on the effect of consuming fruits on energy intake also agreed with Tammi Flynn’s findings, with an apple before meals satiating people early.28
Check With Your Body
The opinions and studies are many. But we’d suggest you to decide the quantity based on what your body can take, as every individual can react differently and want different end results.
- If you’re on a weight-loss regime, count the calories and decide on the number.
- Check what effect the apples have specifically on your body before making them a consistent part of your daily diet, so that you avoid any allergic reactions.
|↑1||Are green apples different in nutrition from red apples? Tufts University.|
|↑2||Weight, Losing. “A satiety index of common foods.” European journal of clinical nutrition 49, no. 9 (1995): 675-690.|
|↑3||de Oliveira, Maria Conceição, Rosely Sichieri, and Renzo Venturim Mozzer. “A low-energy-dense diet adding fruit reduces weight and energy intake in women.” Appetite 51, no. 2 (2008): 291-295.|
|↑4||Nagasako-Akazome, Yoko, Tomomasa Kanda, Yasuyuki Ohtake, Hiroyuki Shimasaki, and Tetsuyuki Kobayashi. “Apple polyphenols influence cholesterol metabolism in healthy subjects with relatively high body mass index.” Journal of oleo science 56, no. 8 (2007): 417-428.|
|↑5, ↑10||van der Sluis, Addie A., Matthijs Dekker, Anton de Jager, and Wim MF Jongen. “Activity and concentration of polyphenolic antioxidants in apple: effect of cultivar, harvest year, and storage conditions.” Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry 49, no. 8 (2001): 3606-3613.|
|↑6||Sung, Young Kwan, Sun Young Hwang, So Young Cha, Soon Re Kim, Sang Yoon Park, Moon Kyu Kim, and Jung Chul Kim. “The hair growth promoting effect of ascorbic acid 2-phosphate, a long-acting Vitamin C derivative.” Journal of dermatological science 41, no. 2 (2006): 150-152.|
|↑7||Kamimura, A., and T. Takahashi. “Procyanidin B‐2, extracted from apples, promotes hair growth: a laboratory study.” British Journal of Dermatology 146, no. 1 (2002): 41-51.|
|↑8||Nichols, Joi A., and Santosh K. Katiyar. “Skin photoprotection by natural polyphenols: anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and DNA repair mechanisms.” Archives of dermatological research 302, no. 2 (2010): 71-83.|
|↑9||Baxter, Richard A. “Anti‐aging properties of resveratrol: review and report of a potent new antioxidant skin care formulation.” Journal of cosmetic dermatology 7, no. 1 (2008): 2-7.|
|↑11||Ohshima, Hiroshi, Koji Mizukoshi, Midori Oyobikawa, Katsuo Matsumoto, Hirotsugu Takiwaki, Hiromi Kanto, and Masatoshi Itoh. “Effects of vitamin C on dark circles of the lower eyelids: quantitative evaluation using image analysis and echogram.” Skin Research and Technology 15, no. 2 (2009): 214-217.|
|↑12||Semba, Richard D. “Vitamin C and Eye Health.” Handbook of Nutrition and Ophthalmology (2007): 371-390.|
|↑13||Rando, Robert R. “The chemistry of vitamin A and vision.” Angewandte Chemie International Edition in English 29, no. 5 (1990): 461-480.|
|↑14||Hillemeier, Craig. “An overview of the effects of dietary fiber on gastrointestinal transit.” Pediatrics 96, no. 5 (1995): 997-999.|
|↑15||Nakao, Makoto, Yozo Ogura, Syousuke Satake, Izumi Ito, Akihisa Iguchi, Kenji Takagi, and Toshitaka Nabeshima. “Usefulness of soluble dietary fiber for the treatment of diarrhea during enteral nutrition in elderly patients.” Nutrition 18, no. 1 (2002): 35-39.|
|↑16||Hall, S. L., and G. A. Greendale. “The relation of dietary vitamin C intake to bone mineral density: results from the PEPI study.” Calcified tissue international 63, no. 3 (1998): 183-189.|
|↑17||Kunkel, Steven D., Christopher J. Elmore, Kale S. Bongers, Scott M. Ebert, Daniel K. Fox, Michael C. Dyle, Steven A. Bullard, and Christopher M. Adams. “Ursolic acid increases skeletal muscle and brown fat and decreases diet-induced obesity, glucose intolerance and fatty liver disease.” PloS one 7, no. 6 (2012): e39332.|
|↑18||Acid, Ascorbic. “The effect of ascorbic acid supplementation on some parameters of the human immunological defence system.” (1977).|
|↑19, ↑20||Patel, Bipen D., Ailsa A. Welch, Sheila A. Bingham, Robert N. Luben, Nicholas E. Day, Kay-Tee Khaw, David A. Lomas, and Nicholas J. Wareham. “Dietary antioxidants and asthma in adults.” Thorax 61, no. 5 (2006): 388-393.|
|↑21||Yang, Jun, and Rui Hai Liu. “Synergistic effect of apple extracts and quercetin 3-β-D-glucoside combination on antiproliferative activity in MCF-7 human breast cancer cells in vitro.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 57, no. 18 (2009): 8581-8586.|
|↑22||Reagan-Shaw, Shannon, David Eggert, Hasan Mukhtar, and Nihal Ahmad. “Antiproliferative effects of apple peel extract against cancer cells.” Nutrition and cancer 62, no. 4 (2010): 517-524.|
|↑23, ↑25||Wolfe, Kelly, Xianzhong Wu, and Rui Hai Liu. “Antioxidant activity of apple peels.” Journal of agricultural and food chemistry 51, no. 3 (2003): 609-614.|
|↑24, ↑26||Eberhardt, Marian V., Chang Yong Lee, and Rui Hai Liu. “Nutrition: Antioxidant activity of fresh apples.” Nature 405, no. 6789 (2000): 903-904.|
|↑27||Flynn, Tammi. The 3 Apple a Day GI Diet: The Amazing Superfood for Fast-track Weight Loss. HarperCollins UK, 2013.|
|↑28||Flood-Obbagy, Julie E., and Barbara J. Rolls. “The effect of fruit in different forms on energy intake and satiety at a meal.” Appetite 52, no. 2 (2009): 416-422.|