European settlers brought apples with them to the Americas. They enjoyed them more than North America’s native crabapple, a small, tarter fruit. Many types of apples grow in the U.S., but a small percentage of ones you can buy in grocery stores are imported. Each one has a different shape, color, and texture. An apple can taste sweet or sour, and its flavor can vary depending on what type you’re eating.
There are many varieties, including:
- Red Delicious
- Granny Smith
Apples are low in sodium, fat, and cholesterol. They don’t offer protein, but apples are a good source of vitamin C and fiber.
One medium apple has about:
- 100 calories
- 25 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of fiber
- 19 grams of sugar
- A variety of strong antioxidants
Apples can do a lot for you, thanks to plant chemicals called flavonoids. And they have pectin, a fiber that breaks down in your gut. If you take off the apple’s skin before eating it, you won’t get as much of the fiber or flavonoids.
The fiber can slow digestion so you feel fuller after eating. This can keep you from overeating. Eating fiber-rich foods helps control symptoms and lessens the effects of acid reflux. An apple’s fiber can also help with diarrhea and constipation.
Some studies show that plant chemicals and the fiber in an apple peel protect against blood vessel and heart damage. They also can help lower your cholesterol, and they might protect your cells’ DNA from something called oxidative damage, which is one of the things that can lead to cancer.
Research shows the antioxidants in apples can slow the growth of cancer cells. And they can protect the cells in your pancreas, which can lower your chances of type 2 diabetes.
Scientists also give apples credit for helping:
- Your lung strength
- Weight loss
- Your brain (easing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss)
- Your immune system
- Your gut health
You don’t need to be concerned about the sugar in apples. Although they have carbs that affect your blood sugar, these carbs are different from other sugars that strip away fiber that’s good for you.