Remember the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away?" Green apple benefits include better digestion, improved blood lipids and even weight loss. Rich in fiber and low in calories, this fruit keeps your heart healthy and promotes satiety.
Green Apple Calories and Nutrients
If you're like most Americans, you probably have a bowl of red apples on the table or countertop. This fruit is popular worldwide — and for good reason. Loaded with potassium, vitamin K and antioxidants, it supports cardiovascular health and protects against free radical damage. Plus, it's over 85 percent water, which helps keep you hydrated and feeling full.
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Green, red or yellow, apples make it easier to reach your weight loss goals and get more vitamins in your diet. In fact, green apples are just as nutritious as their red counterparts but higher in fiber. USDA green apple nutrition data reports that one medium Granny Smith apple has fewer than 100 calories (97, to be more precise), making a great snack between meals. You'll also get:
- 22.7 grams of carbs, including 4.7 grams of fiber
- 0.7 grams of protein
- 0.3 grams of fat
- 4 percent of the DV (daily value) of potassium
- 2 percent of the DV of magnesium
- 6 percent of the DV of copper
- 3 percent of the DV of manganese
- 4 percent of the DV of vitamin K
- 2 percent of the DV of vitamin E
Green apple calories are negligible. This refreshing fruit also provides B vitamins, lutein, zeaxanthin and small doses of calcium, iron and zinc. A large apple boasts 23 percent of the daily recommended fiber intake.
Dietary fiber aids in weight loss while reducing the odds of developing heart disease and diabetes, according to Harvard Health Publishing. Furthermore, it helps prevent blood sugar spikes and adds bulk to your meals, keeping you full longer.
A small red apple, which is pretty much the same size as one medium green apple, has 93 calories and 22.2 grams of carbs, including 3.6 grams of fiber. Both varieties have a similar nutritional value.
Green apples, though, are higher in phenolic compounds, point out the experts at Tufts University. These antioxidants may slow down aging and protect against skin disorders, reduce inflammation and kill disease-causing bacteria, among other beneficial effects.
Are Green Apples Diet-Friendly?
Fruits are often the last choice for those trying to lose weight. Unlike vegetables, they're quite high in carbs and sugars. Clinical evidence, however, shows that a diet rich in fruits can prevent weight gain. In fact, low fruit consumption has been linked to obesity, high cholesterol and hyperglycemia, according to an October 2016 review published in the journal Nutrients.
A research paper featured in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition in April 2018 points out that apples facilitate weight loss in both human and animal studies. Researchers believe that fruit polyphenols may contribute to the weight-loss effects of apples.
Furthermore, these fruits may help restore the gut microbiota, due to their high content of fiber and polyphenols, reports a review published in the May 2015 edition of Nutrients. As the scientists note, gut flora imbalances may lead to cardiovascular disease, weight gain, atherosclerosis, diabetes and metabolic disorders. Therefore, apples may protect against ailments and improve metabolic health.
Pectin, a naturally occurring fiber in apples, can positively alter the gut flora by increasing "gut" bacteria. Fruit polyphenols may help reduce total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels as well as body fat mass, according to the above review. These antioxidants have been shown to decrease body weight body mass index and waist circumference while reducing the risk for obesity in the long run.
Several theories exist. Researchers say that fruit polyphenols not only balance the gut flora but may also suppress fat cell formation and differentiation, as noted in a January 2014 review in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. These nutrients stimulate fat breakdown, reduce inflammation and prevent triglyceride accumulation, facilitating weight loss.
Apples — Your New Favorite Snack
As you see, apples — regardless of their color — can help you get leaner and healthier. These fruits offer both flavor and nutrition, keeping your gut happy. Over time, they may lower your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Apple consumption is associated with better diet quality and lower obesity rates in children, which shows that people of all ages can reap the benefits. Individuals who eat whole apples and apple products regularly are about 25 percent less likely to have obesity than those who skip these fruits, according to a May 2014 survey published in the Nutrition Journal. On top of that, they tend to use fewer prescription medications.
Without a doubt, green apple benefits your waistline — and your health. The key is to consume it as part of a balanced diet that meets your calorie needs. Replace cookies, chips, fries and other high-calorie snacks with apples, or incorporate these fruits into your meals. Get creative with your snack recipes and try delicious options like baked apples with cinnamon, homemade granola bars, apple muffins and apple oatmeal cookies.
- USDA: "Red Delicious Apple"
- USDA: "Granny Smith Apple"
- USDA: "Granny Smith Apple - Large"
- Harvard.edu: "Making One Change — Getting More Fiber — Can Help With Weight Loss"
- Joslin Diabetes Center: "How Does Fiber Affect Blood Glucose Levels?"
- USDA: "Red Delicious Apple - Small"
- Tufts University: "Green Apples vs. Red Apples"
- NCBI: "The Potential of Plant Phenolics in Prevention and Therapy of Skin Disorders"
- Nutrients: "Paradoxical Effects of Fruit on Obesity"
- Journal of the American College of Nutrition: "Weight Loss Associated With Consumption of Apples: A Review"
- Nutrients: "Apples and Cardiovascular Health — Is the Gut Microbiota a Core Consideration?"
- NCBI: "Polyphenol Levels Are Inversely Correlated with Body Weight and Obesity in an Elderly Population after 5 Years of Follow Up (The Randomised PREDIMED Study)"
- Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry: "Novel Insights of Dietary Polyphenols and Obesity"
- Nutrition Journal: "Consumption of Apples Is Associated With a Better Diet Quality and Reduced Risk of Obesity in Children: National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2003-2010"
- NCBI: "Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits"