Like most other fruit, apples pack a combination of vitamins, minerals, water and fibre, along with the natural sugars or carbohydrates we find in all fruit. But what are the vitamins that can be found in apples in more than just trace amounts? And how do these vitamins make us healthier? Lastly, what alongside those vitamins have made apples so popular and evaluated as one of the healthiest fruit you could eat?
The vitamins found in apples in significant amounts are B2, B6, C and K. Let’s break these down and talk a bit about each. Vitamin B2 acts as an antioxidant, first and foremost. All cells in your body are individual living things – they eat, consume energy, create compounds your body needs and multiply. The processes these cells undergo in achieving their purpose produce waste – that waste is known as free radicals. These free radicals are usually flushed out by our system, but unhealthy lifestyles, food and dangerous environmental factors (pollution) can increase the number of these free radicals in our system. And that’s bad news for us, as free radicals can damage DNA and cause a slew of negative conditions. Antioxidants, like B2 or riboflavin act to neutralise these free radicals. Vitamin C found in apples does the exact same thing as well.
Vitamin B6 is another essential nutrient found in apples. And while its concentration per 100 grams of fresh apple is not all that high, you need to keep in mind that our bodies can conserve this vitamin for when we need it. B6 is used by our body to metabolise amino acids, lipids (fats) and glucose, so it’s very important that we don’t allow ourselves to develop a deficiency.
There’s also some amounts of vitamin K, although not that much. However, a balanced diet should bring you enough of this vitamin with no special restrictions or recommendations. Vitamin K is used in blood coagulation by our bodies, and in binding calcium to our bones.
Trace amounts of vitamins and other nutrients
Phytonutrients like polyphenols and flavonoids have a huge positive impact on your health, and apples are a great source of both. The fibre you get from apples – which is not much, out of 100 grams of apple, about 85 are water content – is still enough to make a difference. People who have a regular and healthy fibre amount in their diets have less problems with fat absorption and sugar spikes. There’s also research that shows that the bacteria in the gut benefits from apples being consumed, with a couple of important healthy bacteria – Clostridiales and Bacteriodes – growing in numbers after an apple has been eaten by lab animals. Further studies are needed to confirm the same in humans, however.
All in all, apples are truly healthy for you on all counts. Eating them regularly will keep you feeling full for longer, provide you with a few great vitamins and minerals, and add significantly to how much water you consume on a daily basis.