4. Supports Heart Health
Studies show that eating apples is linked to a lower risk of developing heart disease and this is thought to be down to two important nutrients – soluble fibre and polyphenols.
Soluble fibre dissolves in the water in the gut to produce a gel-like substance. This kind of fibre helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and helps to prevent the cholesterol we do have in our blood from sticking to the insides of the walls of the arteries. Our risk of atherosclerosis is then reduced, a condition that restricts blood flow due to cholesterol plaque build-up, that can lead to heart disease.
Apples contain polyphenols, a group of plant-based compounds, or phytochemicals. Flavonoids are a group of polyphenol phytochemicals, and one, called epicatechin, helps to protect the heart by lowering blood pressure as well as helping to reduce atherosclerosis.
One study found that consuming around 50g of raw apples per day could reduce the risk of developing heart disease. Specifically, the risk of dying from heart disease was 43% lower in women and 19% lower in men. Pretty impressive for fairy ubiquitous apples.
Incidentally, research also points to a link between a high intake of flavonoids with a reduced risk of having a stroke.