Health Benefits of Apples
Whether you eat the Red Delicious or the Granny Smith, expect to receive similar health benefits. All apples are rich in phytonutrients, especially flavonols, anthocyanins, and phenolic acids. Apples with red skin, such as the Red Delicious, have more anthocyanins than other types of apples.
Quercetin is a flavonol that is more abundant in the skin than the pulp. The Jonagold and Golden Delicious apple are good sources of quercetin. Another beneficial compound in most apples is chlorogenic acid, which is a phenolic acid that is concentrated mostly in the pulp.
Most of these compounds have antioxidant properties. One area that benefits greatly from the antioxidant effects of apples is the membrane of cells. Specifically, these compounds reduce the oxidation of cell membrane fats. By preventing damage to the membranes of cells that line blood vessels, the risk of developing atherosclerosis is reduced.
In addition to the phytonutrients, apples are a great source of water soluble fiber, specifically pectin. The combination of these compounds has a beneficial impact on the cardiovascular system. Research has shown that the total cholesterol level and LDL level drops with regular consumption of apples. Quercetin has anti-inflammatory properties that are believed to cause the level of C-reactive protein to drop.
The compounds in apples may also aid in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Some inhibits digestive enzymes that breakdown carbohydrates, resulting in fewer simple sugars entering the bloodstream. Other compounds slow down glucose absorption. Apples may also stimulate insulin production and increase the sensitivity of insulin receptors.