Aristotle questioned human behavior, Einstein questioned the rules of relativity, and Edison questioned electricity. Today, we are questioning nutrition – fruit, to be specific. Are red or green apples healthier for you? Is there a difference? Does having an apple a day really keep the doctor away? We dive headfirst into this important debate.
The apple is a fruit that is often taken for granted. Offered in almost all grocery stores and farmers’ markets year-round, these tasty nutritious treats provide a host of health benefits. Let’s take a closer look.
In general, apples can help with:
Weight loss – Apples are high in fiber and water, which can help you feel more full. In a study of obese mice, those that were given a supplement of ground apples and apple juice concentrate not only lost more weight, but also had lower levels of “bad” cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol than the control group.1
Heart Health – There is a link between consuming apples and a lowered risk of heart disease. Not only are they “high in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, [but] they also have polyphenols, which are linked to lower blood pressure and stroke risk.”2
Lowered Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – Due to the polyphenol antioxidant content of apples, they’re thought to help prevent tissue damage to beta cells in the pancreas.3 These cells produce insulin for the body, and oftentimes they are damaged in people with type 2 diabetes. A deeper look into the study can be found here.
Good Tummy Bacteria – The type of fiber found in apples (pectin) acts as a prebiotic, helping to promote good bacteria in the belly.4
Better Cognitive Function – Multiple studies conducted have shown that apple juice may help prevent the deterioration of neurotransmitters involved in the memory. This is especially important because low levels of acetylcholine, a type of neurotransmitter, have been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, so drink up that apple juice!
The Great Debate: Red vs. Green
- Red apples tend to have more antioxidants than green, but the difference is small.5
- Red apples offer anti-inflammatory benefits.
- On the other hand, “green apples may contain slightly more fiber and less carbohydrates and sugar than red apples.”6
- Green apples have more of a tart taste. Red apples tend to taste sweeter.
The fact is both red and green apples are a good nutritious option. The differences are very slight, so red apple fans and green apple fans rejoice! The overall health benefits of apples, regardless of color, are many. The age-old saying, “an apple a day,” really may keep the doctor away.
What are your nutrition-related questions? Submit your best by clicking here!
Leave us a comment in the box below with your apple preference! Which will come out on top – red or green?
This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.
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