Healthy Autumn Applesauce & Top 8 Health Benefits of Apples

Apples are seemingly a plain-jane, ordinary food. However, when you take a deeper look at the health benefits of apples, you’ll find they are actually extraordinary. In fact, from your heart to your lungs to your digestive tract, apples seem to provide unique support that other foods do not.

What’s more, they are delicious and in-season this time of year.

If you’re looking for a way to use up and save a big apple harvest, look no further than our Homemade Healthy Autumn Applesauce Recipe. It’s full of delicious Autumn flavor and nutrients to boost health heading into colder months.

But take note, while apples are healthy they are too high-carb for a Keto diet. To find ways to include apples and/or get the health benefits while low-carb, continue reading to the bottom of the article.

Healthy Homemade Applesauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs apples, cored and chopped into 1-inch chunks (leave unpeeled) – this is about 6 medium apples
  • ¼ cup water
  • juice from one lemon
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • ¼ cup real maple (optional)

Instructions:

  1. In a large pot, mix chopped apples and water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Lower heat to medium-low, and cover and cook over for ~15-20 minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Once cooled, place cooked apples & liquid, optional maple, cinnamon and ginger in a food processor (preferred) or blender. Or, for chunkier applesauce, simply mash with a fork or masher. Process or mash to desired consistency.
  3. Once completely cooled, store in the refrigerator to eat within 3 days or freeze for up to 6 months.

 

Top 10 Health Benefits of Apples

1. Phytochemicals Galore

Phytochemicals are plant components that fight disease and support cellular health. Apples are full of phytochemicals. In fact, apple’s phytochemicals help regulate blood sugar by preventing spikes, inhibiting an over-release in enzymes that breakdown carbs into simple sugars, and reduce glucose absorption into the bloodstream. In addition, phytochemicals help the body fight and prevent diseases such as cancer, asthma, cardiovascular disease, and more. Keep reading for specifics!

2. Blood Sugar Regulation

Incredibly, apples are a fruit that can improve blood sugars. In one Finnish study of 10,000 people, researchers found a reduced risk of Type 2 diabetes with increased apple consumption ().

Apples contain a health-benefiting compound called quercetin. It’s located in the apple peels. Quercetin is associated with decreased diabetes risk and overall health (2).

3. Extra-Special Fiber

In addition to quercetin, fiber plays a big role in apple’s health benefits and blood sugar regulation. The fiber in apples is called pectin, and it goes far beyond any status quo fiber. Human and animal studies have shown that apple-derived pectin improves gut bacteria, inflammation, metabolism, weight gain, and fat accumulation (3).

4. Cancer Protection

The inverse association between fruits and vegetables and cancer is well documented. Several studies have specifically linked apple consumption with a reduced risk for cancer, especially lung, breast, and colon cancer.

For example, in the Nurses’ Health Study and the Health Professionals’ Follow-up Study, which involved over 77,000 women and 47, 000 men, fruit and vegetable intake was associated with a 21% reduced risk in lung cancer risk in women (. Apples were one of the individual fruits associated with a decreased risk of lung cancer in this study.

Another study of over 6000 participants from various regions in Italy found an association between fresh apple intake and reduced risk of cancer (). One or more servings of apples per day were linked to the following reduction in cancer risk in various sites of the body:

  • 18% reduced risk of oral cavity and pharynx cancer
  • 22% reduced risk of esophageal cancer
  • 30% reduced risk of colorectal cancer
  • 41% reduced risk of larynx cancer
  • 24% reduced risk of breast cancer
  • 24% reduced risk of ovary cancer
  • 7% reduced risk of prostate cancer

5. Cardiovascular Support

Apples have been long-known for heart health support.

In fact, the Women’s Health Study showed a strong link between flavonoid intake and reduced cardiovascular disease. Apples are a great source of flavonoids and were associated with a 13-22% decrease in cardiovascular disease risk in this study ().

Other studies have reached similar conclusions. A group of Finnish women consuming >71 g of apple per day experienced a 43% reduction in coronary mortality compared to women who did not eat apples. Men’s risk reduction was 19% for consuming at least 54 grams of apple per day (an average baseball-sized apple is) ().

6. Digestion and Bacteria Health

An apple can deliver a remarkable boost to your gut’s good bacteria.  Remember, these bacteria support digestive health, immune function, hormone balance, and more. They also reduce candida and yeast overgrowth.

In the large intestine, apples alter the amounts and functions of two key strains of gut bacteria, Clostridiales and Bacteriodes. As a result of these bacterial changes, intestinal cells thrive and become healthier.

7. Low-Calorie Satiety for Weight Loss

Apples are a great food for weight loss.

First, they offer a lot of satiety for a small number of calories. At just 60-90 calories each (less than a mini-snack candy bar), they pack in 4-5 grams fiber, a lot of volume, and fluids to keep your stomach satisfied.

Research also confirms it. In a study of 400 women with high cholesterol, apple and pear intake has also been associated with weight loss and lower blood glucose ().

8. Pulmonary Health and Asthma

Interestingly, apple intake is associated with reduced asthma and improve lung function in many studies, but the researchers have had a difficult time identifying the compound responsible for the benefit.

In one study involving 1600 adults in Australia, both apple and pear intake was associated with a decreased risk of asthma and a decrease in bronchial hypersensitivity. However, total fruit and vegetable intake were not associated with asthma risk or severity ).

Another study of 600 individual with asthma, and 900 without, found that apple and selenium intake was associated with less asthma in adults in the United Kingdom (). Total fruit and vegetable intake were only weakly associated with asthma, with apples specifically showing benefit with at least 2 apples per week intake.

It’s hypothesized that apples’ flavonoids, working together in a whole-food setting, are responsible for these benefits.

Want to Include Apples but Eating Low Carb?

One medium apple is 181 grams weight and 21 grams net carbohydrates. Many studies above show the benefits of apples at far fewer grams, about 30% or 60 grams per day.  Therefore, you could include just 1/3 of an apple per day (cut into 6 slices and save the remaining 4) for 7 grams net carbs. Or, add 2 tablespoons homemade applesauce to nut butter for a high-fat, healthy mix.

Alternatively, try Divine Health Organic Red Supremefood. It’s made with apples, beets, fruits, vegetables, and other great ingredients. It contains only 3 grams of net carbs per serving.

Bottom Line

It’s hard to overlook the health benefits of apples. An ordinary food with extraordinary nutrients. If you’re looking for a great way to boost health this autumn, try our Healthy Homemade Applesauce or just add an apple a day.

5 Comments

  1. Ernie says:

    What are the benefits of just apple juice ?

    • admin says:

      Hi Ernie,
      Thank you for your question. Unfortunately, there’s very little benefit to just the juice. While you may get some vitamins and phytochemicals (depending on how processed it is), it’s mostly fluid and the sugars of the apple. Commercial juice will not contain the health-benefiting fibers. Stik with the whole food (whether raw or in this applesauce), or apple cider vinegar for health benefits!

  2. John Jediny says:

    I have allays loved apples But i am wary of the Toxins that are on the skin the best part of the apple.
    And your sign SUBSCRIBE NOW keeps getting in the way.

  3. Fiona Lawrence says:

    I am an asthmatic. I also suffer from sinusitis and other allergies. Some time back I was told about the apples, actually when my child was 2 (she’s 18 now) and suffered from recurring ear and chest infections, and the benefits of apples in reducing mucus. I have found this definitely works, especially in those mornings when your sinuses are really bad and congested, have an apple or two and you find almost immediate relief. Probably also why it has positive effects is asthmatics, because of the mucus reducing / clearing properties that it has.

  4. Ayoola Adegoke Kayode says:

    Good for mankind. More power to your elbow.

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