So special is the apple that this fruit has religious and mythological significance in many cultures. And even today the apple’s nutritional value continues to be revered—hence the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” With this in mind, let’s take a look at the health benefits of apples.

Apples come in a myriad of colors, flavors, and textures: from sweet to tart and soft to firm. This nutritionally packed fruit contains many vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. An apple contains nearly 20 percent of your daily vitamin C. Other vitamins include vitamin K, pyridoxine, and riboflavin. Apples are also rich in minerals including potassium, copper, magnesium manganese, calcium, and iron.

One of the most important nutritional components of apples is their phytonutrients. Apple phytonutrients include flavonoids, quercetin, catechin, and chlorogenic acid. These are strong antioxidants that help decrease cholesterol and the risk of heart attack. Phytonutrients can support effective metabolism, which may help with weight management.

The polyphenols in apples interact with the intestinal microflora to alter the microbiome towards more beneficial families, making your tummy happier and your digestion more efficient. Polyphenols also decrease glucose absorption, increase insulin secretion, and improve receptor sensitivity. Because of this, the polyphenols in an apple a day may decrease the risk of diabetes by 28 percent.

Apples can decrease dopaminergic neuronal deterioration and apoptosis as well as increase acetylcholine production, which may help with symptoms of Parkinson’s and dementia.

Apple Slaw

Serves 4

  • 1 ½ cups organic 100% apple juice
  • 1 organic Gala or Fuji apple, chopped
  • ½ organic red cabbage, shredded
  • 1 small organic onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons organic raisins, chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon ground Ceylon cinnamon
  • Pinch of ground cloves

Combine all ingredients in a two-quart stainless steel pot. Heat mixture over medium-high heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

The recipe, provided by Paulette Weber, RD, includes potent ingredients including onion and apple cider vinegar. The onion provides sulfur compounds for liver detoxification. Apple cider vinegar provides predigested polyphenolic compounds which may protect against pathogenic bacteria.