By Claire Georgiou, Reboot Naturopath, B.HSc ND
Apples are one of those simple, seasonal foods that often get overlooked. They are mostly known for offering a little sweetness to a green juice, but they have so many health benefits too.
Apple juice retains many of the key nutrients of apples, including vitamin C, B vitamins, as well as some magnesium, iron, calcium, manganese and copper. Some of the insoluble fiber is also retained in this juice, along with all of the soluble fiber, phytochemicals, flavonols, quercetin, catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid and procyanidins.
In Joe’s famous Mean Green juice, two large apples provide about 480 mg of potassium, which is around 15 percent of your daily needs while the remaining vegetables will increase this amount substantially to nearly 2500 mg per 16-ounce serving.
The potassium content of apples also offers the cardiovascular system many health benefits as it supports muscular electrical impulses, reduces blood pressure, reduces the risk of dying of cardiovascular disease and ischemic heart disease by 40-50 percent. It also helps protect the kidneys, reduces muscle wasting and helps prevent osteoporosis.
Apples contain a soluble fiber, which is present in the juice, called pectin. This nutrient is a demulcent and helps to soothe and reduce inflammation, ease digestive discomfort and can support a healthy microbiome by acting as a food source and can provide some support for modulating transit time through the bowel, meaning it can help in cases of both diarrhea and constipation. The malic acid in apples is also helpful for bowel and digestive upsets such as bloating, constipation and diarrhea. Apple juice can be an easy remedy to help even an upset tummy in children and in adults.
Pectin also binds to cholesterol and helps to remove it from the bowels and can helps to reduce cholesterol levels overall by up to 11%.
Several studies have linked apple consumption with a reduced risk for cancer, especially lung cancer. 1 particular study found that women who consumed 1 apple and 1 pear had a reduction in lung cancer by 21%
In one study apple intake was associated with reductions in the risk of both cardiovascular disease and cardiovascular events. Women ingesting apples had a 13–22% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk.
Apple consumption has also be associated with a lower general mortality rate in the elderly!
In an Australian study involving 1,600 adults, apple and pear intake was associated with a decreased risk of asthma and a decrease in bronchial hypersensitivity, another study in the UK found that apple intake, as well as selenium intake, was associated with less asthma in adults. Apple intake and orange intake were both associated with a reduced incidence of asthma in the Finnish study involving 10, 000 men and women, apples also showed a mark improvement for lung capacity. The magic number seems to sit around an apple a day keeps the doctor away!
Diabetes and weight loss
Higher quercetin intake, a major component of apple peels, was also associated with a decreased risk in type II diabetes while consuming 3 apples or 3 pears daily was associated with weight loss of 2.7 pounds over a 12-week period without any other changes.
Other health benefits associated with the consumption of apple juice or cider are reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, improving eye health, hair and skin, helps to prevent osteoporosis and can be helpful for urinary tract infections by supporting a more alkaline environment.
Preparing your own apple juice will be higher in nutrients and antioxidant compounds so the health benefits will likely be higher than the studies indicate here, so sip up!
For more recipes featuring apple juice try:
Classic Carrot-Apple-Lemon with a Kick