Many people think of red when the word apple comes up. However, that isn’t the only color that an apple can be. There are yellow, pink, multicolored and green apples as well. Green apples tend to be a bit firmer. They also have a bit of a sour tang to them.
The most well-known green apple is the granny smith. It is sometimes called a pie apple as well, as the firm texture holds up well when cooked. Red delicious apples can turn to mush when cooked and then baked into a pie.
Cooking isn’t the green apples only claim to fame. The phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be cliché, but it’s also true. A lot of websites agree on five health benefits. Some claim as many as twenty six, though some of them are for the skin and hair.
What are the benefits of green apples?
There a lot. The number of vitamins in green apples may astound you. There are also minerals, fiber and other things in the green apple. If you have dandruff, some websites claim a paste made of the fruit’s skin and leaves will improve the condition. (1) (2)
Green apples vitamins: This is a question often posted on google. What vitamins are in green apples? Vitamins A, B and C are the simple answer. However, B vitamins are an actual group of vitamins. Each of these vitamins has different parts to play in our health.
Vitamin A is a fat soluble vitamin. It acts in several capacities, one as an antioxidant. It is also considered necessary for the eyes. Most people think of carrots when it comes to vitamin A, but it is also found in fairly large quantities in apples.
Of the B vitamins, there are four found in green apples. Each one has specific jobs. Like vitamin A, they are all antioxidants, but they do other necessary jobs. They can also be confusing, as they have different names besides their B numbers.
Vitamin B1 is also called thiamine. It is rare to be thiamine deficient in developed countries, but some medical conditions can cause it. Thiamine is needed for memory and brain function. Not eating enough can cause temporary brain impairment. If it goes on long enough that impairment will become permanent.
Vitamin B2’s other name is riboflavin. There are several reasons someone might be deficient in this vitamin. Those who are lactose intolerant are high on that list… unless the get the vitamin from green apples or other foods.
Riboflavin deficiency can mess with the skin, eyes, lips and mind. A burning sensation in the feet may occur. Its main job is to work on mucus membranes and skin. We have a lot of them, including our lips. Riboflavin also plays a role in fertility.
If you like your blood to carry plenty of oxygen, vitamin B6 is your friend. Its other name is not very well-known… peroxidine. However, those who know that haemoglobin may recognize what that turns into in the body. It’s the haemin. Most of us spell the word hemoglobin.
Folate is what B9 is referred to most of the time. It’s also called folic acid. Women who are or are trying to get pregnant are usually warned to make sure there’s plenty of it in their systems. That’s because it helps with cell development… and not just the woman’s.
Is there vitamin C in apples?
Yes, there is. Vitamin C is a major antioxidant and green apples do have it. You may wonder what antioxidants do. While our bodies need oxygen to function, when it is set loose away from the bloodstream it can do damage.
Antioxidants work to get rid of these misplaced molecules so that they don’t cause damage to our organs. Every organ can be damaged by them, they are also known as free radicals. Getting enough antioxidants is necessary for our health. (3) (4)
Which apple is the healthiest?
The granny smith apple leads the list. It is green, and has the most micronutrients. Second is the red delicious apple, followed by Fuji, gala, crimson gold and the honey crisp. There actually aren’t any bad apples; those are just the best six.
When is the best time to eat an apple?
There are two ways to interpret this question. The first is time of day. Apples contain pectin which can increase and magnify stomach acid. It is best to eat apples in the morning. Otherwise the stomach acid could cause acid reflux and other digestive tract issues.
The second is under certain conditions. That can mean a medical condition that requires or negates the use of apples. There are also medications that can and can’t be taken with a lot of apple consumption. For the most part, if only one apple is consumed, there isn’t a problem.
Diabetes: There are a lot of reasons those with this disease may want to consider an apple for a snack. It’s true that there is fructose in apples. That’s one of many reasons that apple juice is not usually considered a good idea. However, it is offset by other things.
Apples are very high in fiber. This fiber slows down digestion and allows the fructose to be absorbed slower than without fiber. They also help move things through the digestive tract, improve gut health and help to avoid constipation.
Insulin resistance is a common problem for diabetics. This is where what insulin is produced isn’t used properly by the body. Apples can help improve the use of insulin in diabetics… or anyone else who has problems with insulin resistance.
Dieters: Unless you are on a low carb diet, an apple is a wise snack choice for those on a diet. Many of us know why the word “die” is part of the word “diet.” The hunger from calorie restriction can be intense. However, green apples may actually lessen the pangs of hunger.
The fiber mentioned above is another good thing for dieters. Calorie restriction can also mean difficulties moving things through the digestive tract. This can lead to constipation, which only adds to the discomfort of a diet. Fiber helps move things along.
There is something satisfying about biting into a crisp green apple. Humans, like horses, have an instinctive need to chew. Ours isn’t as strong, but it’s there. Chewing on the apple helps to satisfy that need without too many added calories.
We also crave sweets. So many things are restricted on a diet, and sweets are on that list. However, the actual amount of sugar in an apple is lower than in many other things, including some other fruits. It’s a good way to indulge the sweet tooth and still stay on course.
Autoimmune disorders: There is still a lot of work to be done here, but at least one study has been done on how apples can help lupus. As that is an autoimmune disorder, there is some thought that it may be across the board.
One of the problems for those with lupus is gut microbes. Apples have been shown to help improve the good gut microbes and curb the bad ones. Keeping the gut in balance helps the entire body and is especially important in autoimmune disorders.
Cardiovascular disease: Besides all the vitamins, minerals and fiber in green apples, there are chemicals called polyphenols. These are extremely important for people who have or are at risk for cardiovascular disease. The reasons why this is true are unclear, but study after study shows that it helps.
How should I eat apples?
That’s the thing, isn’t it? This wonderful fruit is available in many forms. Unless it’s deep fat fried, there isn’t a wrong way of eating them, but there are ways that are better than others. Here are a few, although the first will always be the best.
Raw, peel on: Most of the vitamins and minerals are in the skin. The water soluble B vitamins in an apple are harmed by cooking, although they don’t go away completely. A raw apple with the peel on is also a lot more satisfying for those on a diet.
Raw, peeled: There are those who can’t abide the taste and/or texture of the skin of fruits and vegetables. Raw green apples still have more nutrients than cooked, even if they are peeled. If it’s the only way to eat it raw, it’s better than cooked.
Both raw and peeled raw apples can be added to salads to change up the flavor and add more nutrients. They can also be added to cereal, including oatmeal after it has been cooked. It will add a bit of flavor interest to the cereal chosen.
Steamed/baked skin on: Even diminished by cooking, the whole fruit is still better than any part peeled and cooked. It is important to eat the skin, though. Steaming may be better for this, as baking can make the skin a little tougher to chew.
To make this, take a whole apple and hollow out the core. There are tools for this, including an old fashioned type of potato peeler. The rounded top is meant to act as an apple corer. This isn’t an easy task and is better suited for adults than children.
Flavoring can be inserted into the hollowed out core. Cinnamon is a good one; usually one stick fits very nicely in the core. Brown sugar is often added, but frowned on by nutritionists. Bake or steam until the inside is tender.
Stir fry: As with salads, adding chopped or sliced apples to a stir fry will change the taste and bring out other flavors. It’s especially good if it’s added towards the end so it doesn’t get completely cooked. This helps improve the sweetness without adding sugar.
The USFDA has not approved any of the statements in this article. It is for your information only. They tend to frown on anyone who doesn’t state this clearly.
Before going into an apple eating frenzy, it is best to check with your doctor and your pharmacist.
There are times when eating apples may not be in your best interest. This is especially true if you take medications.
Before starting any type of diet, you need to have a physical. It does not matter what type you choose, there are things you’ll need to know going in that you can only find out this way. Some diets are off limits for those with medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease.
All things need to be consumed in moderation. It is easily possible to eat too many apples. This can have adverse effects even for healthy individuals. The acid and fiber content can be problematic if there is over consumption. Diarrhea and stomach upset are possible.
As has been mentioned, cooking reduces the available nutrition of any fruit or vegetable, as does peeling. There are also problems when apples are left out in light too long. Apples should be stored in the refrigerator until time to eat them.
There is a problem with that, but it can be addressed by how they are stored.
Apples absorb the scent of other things in the fridge. Storing them loose for a long period of time is likely to give them an off flavor. They aren’t bad, just not as tasty.
If the apples are in appropriate produce bags, this scent absorption is less likely.
Grocery stores provide plastic bags for produce, although other containers may be less harmful to the environment. Keeping them covered is the goal.
Peeled apples need to be cooked or consumed immediately. If they aren’t, they will turn brown. Cooking stops the oxidative process. Some cooks use citric acid for the same reason, especially if they don’t want to cook them right away.