Most people have heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” However, few people know just how nutritionally valuable apples are. To understand the real importance of eating an apple, it is important to look at which nutritional components make up this popular fruit.

First of all, apples are great for hydration. They are made up of roughly 83% water. The average small apple has only 60 calories. However, larger fruits can have up to 100 calories per piece. An apple is also fat free and has no sodium. Apples have virtually no protein, but they do contain a lot of carbohydrates. In fact, roughly 15 percent of an apple consists of carbohydrates from sugar and fiber. An apple can have 13 to 15 grams of sugar, which may seem like a lot. However, it is important to remember that this is natural, unprocessed sugar that will not cause the same blood sugar spikes as refined white sugar can.

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Fiber is perhaps the most important nutrient that apples provide. In a small apple alone, there are usually 3 to 5 grams of fiber. However, most of the fiber is located in the fruit’s skin. So, peeling an apple will remove most of this very important nutrient. Remember, fiber fills you up. This, plus an apple’s high water content makes it a filling snack and great for anyone on a diet. An apple’s skin also has plenty of quercetin. Quercetin is a type of antioxidant that has been shown to have brain boosting benefits by protecting cells from damage.

In addition to fiber, apples are loaded with antioxidants that are associated with lowering bad cholesterol levels. Apples also contain flavonoids and phytochemicals that can help protect organs like the lungs and colon. They are also a good source of boron, which is associated with improved bone density and a stronger heart. Apples also protect the heart by their high folic acid content.

While the saying goes that doctors prescribe apples for good health, dentists also promote eating apples as a method of preventing tooth decay. For one thing, apples have nutrients known as tannins that can protect against plaque and gum disease. Also, the act of eating a water-rich, solid fruit can help clean away bacteria from teeth. This is because chewing an apple helps stimulate the production of saliva. Saliva kills bacteria and helps prevent tooth decay.

Ultimately, apples are one of the best foods a person can eat. They are sweet, crunchy, delicious, and, of course, very healthy. Their nutrition facts are quite impressive, and apples should be a part of any healthy diet.