I love Granny Smith Apples!
They are crisp, tart, and juicy. If you think they are just for apple pies you might want to reconsider. In this article, we are going to review 10 amazing health benefits of including these little green gems in your diet.
The potential health benefits are too good to ignore.
10 Reasons to Add Green Apples to Your Daily Diet.
Let’s start with my favorite one.
#1 Gut Health
The Granny Smith was shown to excel over several other varieties of apples in this area due to non-digestible compounds that actually ferment in the colon. Just one medium apple a day has enough fiber content to be very beneficial to the good bacteria in the gut. Our gut microbiota affects almost every area of our health.
Read all about gut health here.
#2 Weight Loss
I know what some of you anti-carb, keto folks are saying. Oh no. We can’t have fruit. Well, if you were going to break down and have a piece of fruit, this lowly green-skinned granny is the one to have.
They are lower in carbs and sugar than their red-skinned cousins and they have some other attributes that give them a real edge.
They have a high water content which helps you feel full, and with 3 gms of fiber, they are slow to digest, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar.
A study published in 2011 by the Journal of Medicinal Food found that mice fed a high-fat diet that were given ursolic acid(found in the skin of the green apple) lost more weight than the mice that did not receive it. Granted, this study was done on mice, so human trials would need to be conducted in order to make weight loss claims, but it certainly is hopeful, isn’t it?
Of course, eating an apple a day is not going to be a dieter’s magic bullet without including exercise, eating clean, and decreasing overall calorie intake (deficit of calories in to calories out) but it may be one more tool to assist us in managing a healthy body weight.
You may be interested in learning about this healthy, natural weight loss supplement
And check out my free E-Book, Clean Eating: Nonrestrictive, Natural, Sustainable, and Easy: A Complete Guide with Recipes
#3 Detoxifies the Liver
The high fiber along with the antioxidant activity increases bile production which helps expel toxins before they reach the liver.
In addition, that ursolic acid in the skin was used in another study which was shown to reduce the risk of liver disease. Again this study was only performed on mice but the fat mice that were fed the green apples did not suffer from fatty liver disease like their other fat friends. Remember not to remove the skin since that is where all the good stuff is. With that being said, you want to make sure you are only buying organic apples. Commercially grown apples are HEAVILY sprayed with pesticides. If you can grow your own, well, that is even better. Yes, you can grow them without pesticides.
Here is a very informative article with guidance on just how you can do it.
#4 Increases Bone Strength
There is a strong correlation between liver health and osteoporosis. So the effect on the liver will also provide benefit to your bones.
Green apples also contain vitamin C which will boost the production of collagen, another component necessary for bone health. A healthy diet rich in calcium and other bone healthy minerals along with green apple consumption will give those bones what they need.
#5 Improves Joint Health
Same reason as above. That collagen that is boosted by the vitamin C in the apples is also extremely important for joint health It has been proven that eating an apple or two per day reduces pain associated with arthritis. The same research showed that people who ate three servings of fruits and vegetables each day had less knee pain than those who didn’t eat any at all.
This is because the antioxidants contained within help reduce inflammation throughout the body. It may seem like a small thing but when you consider that there are many foods that cause inflammation such as processed meats, fried food, dairy products etc… it makes sense that something as simple as adding a few pieces of fruit into your diet could improve overall health.
#6 Improves Digestion
Pectins are polysaccharides that occur naturally in plant cell walls. They form gel structures called “gum” inside the cells of plants and aid in binding together nutrients and enzymes needed during digestion. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble forms of pectin. Soluble pectin binds to digestive juices and prevents them from being absorbed before reaching the stomach. Insoluble pectin provides structure to the intestinal wall and allows absorption of nutrients. This means that consuming apples regularly will prevent bloating after meals and keep your gut lining intact.
The fiber in these beauties will assist in the regulation of your bowels. Nature’s way of preventing constipation and diarrhea. Come on. You know we all pay close attention to this and it can totally throw off our whole day when we are not quite right. Am I right or am I right?
#7 Reduces the Risk of Cancer
This has been proven time after time. The antioxidant activity of green apples help protect against cancer cells from forming. It does this through its ability to neutralize free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that cause damage to DNA and proteins. They are produced as part of normal metabolism or when there is an imbalance in cell growth. Antioxidants like those contained within green apples prevent oxidation reactions and keep things balanced.
This is backed by multiple studies showing its power to decrease cancer cells growth. Specifically in breast cancer cells where they were significantly lowered by the phytochemical and flavonoid components. They also contain quercetin which is an antioxidant that may help prevent certain types of cancers such as prostate cancer.
It was also found to have an effect on inhibiting colon and liver cancer cell growth.
So, perhaps not a cancer cure but surely something worth noting.
Again, make sure to buy only organic or grow your own.
#8 Lowers Cholesterol
The fiber in apples binds to cholesterol and bile acids in the digestive tract and prevents them from being reabsorbed back into circulation. This means that these substances remain in the intestines where they should stay instead of circulating through the bloodstream and causing problems elsewhere.
Many people are taking statin drugs to decrease their bad cholesterol (LDL). An article on WebMD reviews the many negative effects of statins and whether the benefits outweigh the risks.
A study from Ohio State University performed on a group of adults between the ages of 40 and 60 that ate 1 apple a day for four weeks significantly lowered their LDL(the bad stuff) by a whopping 40 percent!
Hmm. Statin or apple? I don’t know of too many people with allergic reactions to apples.
#9 Improves Vision
Due to the high content of vitamin A and vitamin C, these beauties are great for eye health and vision. Eye health is dependent on good blood flow which helps with nutrient delivery to the eyes. Vitamin A aids in maintaining healthy skin and mucous membranes while vitamin C promotes collagen production and keeps connective tissue strong. These two vitamins work together to promote healthy vision.
Green apples are rich sources of beta-carotene, lutein/zeaxanthin, quercetin, potassium, magnesium, manganese, copper, and iron.
Don’t forget to leave that peel on.
#10 Improves skin and hair health
You can buy all the expensive hair and skin products you want but if you don’t feed them the nutrients they need from the inside you are not going to see huge results. The vitamin C in apples helps to support collagen formation. Collagen makes up approximately 80% of our skin. These levels drop as we age causing skin elasticity and plumpness to decrease and wrinkles and fine lines to increase. Vitamin C is a critical component of collagen synthesis.
As you can see the benefits of apples are numerous and eating more apples and less processed garbage food is just one way to reap the rewards.
Green Apple Nutrition Contains vitamins A, C, E, and K, a variety of B vitamins, and potassium. An average 3-inch green apple has approximately 100 calories, 25 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fiber. This lovely little fruit makes an excellent snack when trying to watch your weight. And.. it might even help keep that doctor away.
Check out these recipes using green apples: