Eating apples to keep the doctor away may be a cliché, but it has its origins in the truth. Apples provide multiple nutrients and compounds that help promote good health and weight management. One apple counts as one cup of fruit, helping you meet the American Heart Association's recommendation to consume at least 4 ½ cups of fruits and vegetables daily. Apples are available in just about any grocery store and have a long shelf-life, so plan on adding this tasty fruit to your diet.
One cup of apple slices with the skin, provides almost 3 g of fiber. Fiber is an essential compound that helps keep your digestive tract running smoothly, promotes colon health and may help lower cholesterol. The Institute of Medicine recommends women strive to consume a minimum of 25 g of fiber daily and men 38 g daily. Make sure you consume the skin, as apple slices without the skin contain just 1 g of fiber per cup.
Apples are a source of quercetin, an antioxidant. This particular antioxidant can help increase energy and endurance during physical activity. Like other antioxidants, quercetin also contributes to decreased inflammation in the body because it fights disease-causing free radicals. One cup of sliced apples also provides 5 mg of vitamin C, which also operates as an antioxidant to promote immunity. Vitamin C is also essential to the development and repair of body tissues.
Potassium and Vitamin K
Apples are a source of potassium, an essential mineral that helps your body regulate other minerals and fluid. One cup of apple slices provides 117 mg of the mineral. Apples also provide 2.4 mcg of vitamin K per cup. Vitamin K helps your blood clot properly.
The fiber in an apple can help you feel full for few calories. One cup of apple slices, with the skin, provides just 57 calories and only trace amounts of fat. Eat the apple as a snack instead of a serving of fried chips, snack crackers or cookies and save 100 calories or more. You can spread nut butter on an apple instead of higher calorie breads and crackers to save calories and obtain more nutrients.