‘An apple a day, keeps the doctor away’. Apple helps to improve digestion, prevents stomach disorders, gallstones, constipation and liver disorders. Furthermore, apple helps to treat rheumatism, dysentery, eye disorders, a variety of cancer and gout. It can even prevent the onset of some chronic diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s.
Apple is a medium-sized, pomaceous fruit that belongs to the Rosaceae family. This juicy looking fruit originated in the mountainous regions of Kazakhstan. Apples come in various sizes. They are naturally available in red, purplish-pink, yellow and green colors. The skin is a firm on the outside and it's fleshy and juicy on the inside. Apples have a combination of sweet and sour taste. Apples are so well-loved by people and children that they have also been featured in classic fairytales like Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs.
The list of nutritional value of an apple is long and varied- it is packed with vitamins, (such as vitamin C, vitamin K, Vitamin B6), minerals (such as riboflavin, potassium copper, manganese and magnesium) organic compounds; phytonutrients and flavonoids (such as epicatechin, quercetin and phloridzin). Apples are also a great source of antioxidants. Eating an apple per day supplies you with about 12% of the daily fibre requirement.
Bowel Movements- Apples are high in a fibre called pectin. This fibre can be found between the cell walls of the apple. The pectin fibre contained in apples aid in the digestive process by ensuring smoother bowel movements. It prevents constipation and all kinds of stomach diseases. Fibre should be included as part of your daily diet. The insoluble fibre contained in apple help to add bulk to your stool (especially those suffering from loose stools) - this helps to retain water and make your stool soft. Consuming apple also help to stimulate peristaltic motion which in turn makes the muscles contract allowing the food to move along.
Cancer- The benefits of apple for cancer prevention have become a subject of study in the medical world. They help to improve types of cancer such as breast and colon cancer. Apples are naturally imbued with health and nutrional properties that help to act as protective barriers to any kind of health trouble from brewing (including cancer). As a cancer preventive measure it contains antioxidants that help to fight off the free radicals that bring about harm to your cells.However, exactly how an apple works to improve cancer in terms of its mechanism is still not fully clear in the medical world.
Intestine- Apples help to better develop the functioning of the bacteria that reside in the large intestine. Apples alter the metabolic rate of the digestive tract. This changed metabolic rate then helps to cause modifications in the bacteria balance, which improves the gut health. As a result of the improved health condition, it aids in the removal of toxic elements and bad bacteria.
Anemia- Anemia is a health condition where there is a decrease in the haemoglobin count of the blood. Patients who are suffering from anemia can easily treat their condition by including a source of iron in their daily diet (either in fruit form or as additional health supplements). Apple is a great source of iron and acts as a great home remedy in the treatment of anemia. The common signs and symptoms of anemia include sleep deprivation, headache, heartbeat, shortness of breath and tiredness. Have it raw or in the form of juice made at home (without sugar). A combination of apple juice with that of beet-root juice or apple juice and tomato juice works wonders for your health.
Fights Weakness- Apples are loaded with antioxidants and help to detoxify the body. They help in gaining weight. Patients who are going through their recovery phase are often given apple to eat as they instil energy and vitality. Remember to add apples to your daily diet if you want to feel energized all day long!
Diabetes- For those suffering from diabetes, regulating blood sugar levels is absolutely necessary. The polyphenol contained in apples help to reduce the absorption of carbohydrates by the digestive system. This helps to control the constant fluctuation of the blood sugar level in the bloodstream. As a result your diabetes remains in check. Additionally, the polyphenols help in the absorption of glucose by the digestive tract. When this happens the insulin released from the pancreas play an important role of keeping the blood sugar levels in control.
Skin Care- Eating apples or applying it as a paste in combination with honey and milk helps to add glow and shine to your skin. The antioxidants present in the skin of apples help to fight the signs of damaged skin such as wrinkles, age-spots, blemishes, etc. It helps in improving the blood circulation. Improved blood circulation replaces the old cells with new ones, this ensures youthful and radiant looking skin.
Rheumatism affects the joints and muscles of the body. People suffering from chronic rheumatism may find relief by consuming an apple daily. Apple contains a ton of flavonoids that help in the healing process of rheumatism. Apple also helps to treat arthritis pain and gout.
Many fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants that have been seen to provide protection to the cells in the brain against a process called oxidative stress. This process causes an imbalance between the amount of free radicals produced and that of the ability of the body to be able to negate the damaging effects. This process leads to tissue-damage and causes Alzheimer’s to occur. Aside from Alzheimer’s this tissue damaging process also causes certain neurodegenerative disorders. The phytonutrients contained in apples work towards lowering the chances of an Alzheimer’s disease.
Apples contain anti-inflammatory properties that help to treat respiratory troubles. Respiratory issues are triggered when the respiratory system becomes weakened by the inflammation of certain membranes and cells. Asthma is one of the most aggravated respiratory conditions where people suffering from it can also die. Consuming apples on a regular basis helps to deal with any kind of respiratory diseases. Those who are prone to asthmatic tendencies should make it a point to add apple to their daily fruit diet.
As already mentioned apples are a great source of antioxidants. These properties play a significant role in lowering the oxidising effects of fats. This process involves counteracting triglycerides and other kinds of fats that are contained in the canals of the blood vessels. This leads to excess application of pressure on the walls of the blood vessels. By eating an apple this pressure can be avoided as they contain a potent flavonoid known as quercetin. This flavonoid reduces the occurrence of inflammation in the blood vessels of the heart.
The uses of apple are numerous. If we were to put them all down in a list, the list would be endless. Apples are used to treat diabetes, hair loss or alopecia in men, diarrhoea, for lung cancer, for skin care, etc. They are also used to treat allergic reactions such as hay fever. They help to heal throbbing migraine pains. They are also greatly used in cooking purposes- as the fruit or in the form of apple cider vinegar. The addition of apple or apple cider enhances the taste and aroma of food. The famous Viennese dessert apple strudel, caramel apple tart, Dutch Apple pancakes, Potluck German Apple Cake, Apple and Kohlrabi gratin and Roasted meats drizzled with apple cider vinegar are some mouth-watering and scrumptious apple dishes to die for.
There have been no reports of any fatal side effects or extremely damaging allergic reaction of apples. However, the seeds of the apple contain a poisonous compound called which is life-threatening and eating too much apple seeds can be fatal. The usual cases of allergy from apple may include groups of people who are allergic or sensitive to all the fruits belonging to the Rosaceae family and not just apple. The other fruits include plum, peach, strawberry and pear. Consuming packaged apple juice is bad for you as packaged juices contain a high amount of sugar which may play a part in increasing the blood sugar levels of the body. Apple juices are a major red flag in the case of diabetic patients. It is always better and is advised to have apple as the natural raw fruit or have the juice extracted out of it at home without adding any extra sugar. Eat healthy and take wise decisions to ensure your health and well-being.
Apples have been harvested for many years throughout the regions of Asia and Europe, in places such as Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, Persia and Mesopotamia. They are the one of the oldest fruits to have been cultivated and have featured in plenty of writings dating to the pre-Christian times. China is by far the largest producer of apple in the world. In India, apples are widely cultivated in the regions of Kashmir followed by Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh.
The presence of loamy soil that are rich in organic content with a pH range of 5.5- 6.5 is essential for the cultivation of this fruit. Apple trees bloom in climatic conditions ranging from 21' C to 24' C. Therefore, the ideal time for cultivating apples would be the months of January and February. An annual rainfall count of 100 cm-125 cm is necessary for effective cultivation. They can be cultivated at a height of about 1,500 m to 2,700 m above the sea level.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar is a kitchen ingredient with a multitude of uses, from home remedy to DIY fruit fly trap. It is made from apple cider that is fermented with yeast and bacteria.
While emerging research suggests that apple cider vinegar (also known as ACV) may offer certain benefits, it’s touted as a solution for everything from pimples to a sore throat. Some remedies might help, but others can be harmful if used incorrectly.
Here are the top uses and benefits of apple cider vinegar:
Acetic acid, the main component of all types of vinegar, appears to block enzymes that help you digest starch, resulting in a smaller blood sugar response after starchy meals such as pasta or bread. A study published in the Annals of Nutrition and Metabolism in 2010, for instance, found that adding vinegar to a high-starch meal helps to decrease fluctuations in blood sugar after the meal.
Although you can add a splash of apple cider vinegar in salad dressings, marinades, vinaigrettes, and sauces, be sure to consult your doctor if you’re considering using it in larger amounts for diabetes. There haven’t been the clinical trials needed to confirm that it’s effective and you could be putting yourself at risk if you delay or avoid treatment.
If you take diabetes medication, vinegar could cause unwanted effects, like low blood sugar or potassium.
Also, you shouldn’t use apple cider vinegar if you have gastroparesis, as it can further slow gastric emptying.
2. Aid in Weight Loss
If you’re trying to lose weight, apple cider vinegar is sometimes said to help. While preliminary research suggests that vinegar may increase fat oxidation, a study found that the effect appears to be very modest (one to two pounds total weight loss in 12 weeks).
People tend to consume greater than normal amounts of apple cider vinegar when using it for weight loss, with some even taking it in tablet form. There’s a risk that pills can injure the gastrointestinal tract. According to one report, for instance, a woman had an ACV tablet lodged in her throat for 30 minutes and developed pain and tenderness in the throat area and difficulty swallowing that lasted for six months.
3. Get Rid of Dandruff
For pesky dandruff, some people find that lightly spritzing an apple cider vinegar and water solution onto the scalp (and leaving it for 15 minutes before rinsing) helps with persistent flakes, itchiness, and irritation. It’s typically used once or twice a week.
Vinegar’s acetic acid may alter the scalp’s pH, making it harder for yeast (one of the main contributors to dandruff) to grow.
Just don’t get apple cider vinegar in your eyes or ears. Use eye protection if needed, and use it in very small amounts. If you have color-treated hair, consult your color technician as it may alter your color.
4. Stop Itchy Bug Bites and Stings
If you have mosquito bites, poison ivy, or jellyfish stings, a weak apple cider vinegar solution dabbed onto bites and stings may help.
5. Freshen Hair in Between Washings
If you’re between hair washings or are active, spritzing some apple cider vinegar solution on your roots may help control the oil. Experts recommend adding five drops of apple cider vinegar to five ounces of water in a spray bottle and spritzing your roots several times, one or two times a week.
Be careful not to get it on your face, eyes, or ears. If your hair is color-treated, it’s a good idea to consult your colorist before using it.
Although apple cider vinegar is sometimes recommended as a hair rinse to remove shampoo build-up and clarify dull hair, the solution has to very dilute because it is harder to prevent it from getting in your face, eyes, and delicate skin area when washing it out at home.
6. Relieve Minor Sunburns
While the more common recommendation for a mild sunburn is a cool water compress or bath, aloe gel, or moisturizer, some people swear by apple cider vinegar. It can be added to a cool bath or mixed with cool water and lightly spritzed on affected areas (avoiding the face) to relieve pain and discomfort.
Apple cider vinegar shouldn’t be applied at full strength or in strong concentrations to the skin, as the acidity can further injure skin. It also shouldn’t be used for more serious burns, so be sure to consult your health care provider for help in determining the severity of your sunburn.
7. Clear Acne and Pimples
Apple cider vinegar may help to dry out pimples when a solution is dabbed onto pimples. It should be diluted before applying it to the face as it can cause skin injury or chemical burns if it’s not dilute enough.
Although apple cider vinegar is suggested as a skin toner, it isn’t recommended because the acetic acid concentration in ACV varies widely.
8. Soothe a Sore Throat
A time-honored throat elixir, apple cider vinegar drinks and gargles are said to alleviate the pain of a sore throat. Although there are many different recipes and protocols, a basic drink recipe calls for a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar, a teaspoon of honey, and a small pinch of cayenne pepper stirred in a cup of warm water.
Although some proponents claim that apple cider vinegar has germ-fighting properties and capsaicin in hot peppers alleviates pain, there hasn’t been any research on apple cider vinegar’s ability to fight sore throats.
Some sources recommend a stronger solution or even taking apple cider vinegar by the spoonful, however the acidity may cause mouth and throat irritation or chemical burns.
While most sore throats are minor, if you have other symptoms or are concerned, you should contact your health care provider.
9. Ease Heartburn and Indigestion
Apple cider vinegar is said to ease some types of heartburn, acid reflux, and digestive conditions like constipation or diarrhea. For heartburn, apple cider vinegar is thought to work because it is acidic, and too little stomach acid is believed to cause heartburn in some people.
Still, the more widely used heartburn diet involves reducing acidic foods, so it's a good idea to speak with your health care provider before trying it.
While some sources recommend taking it by the spoonful, apple cider vinegar's acidity may result in mouth, throat, or esophageal irritation or burns. A more moderate guideline would be to have an amount you would normally eat in a meal (typically one teaspoon or less) diluted in one cup of water or taken in food.
10. Cure Hiccups
To stop hiccups, proponents suggest eating one teaspoon of sugar with several drops of apple cider vinegar added to the sugar. The sugar’s grainy texture and the vinegar’s sour taste may trigger nerves in the throat and mouth responsible for controlling the hiccup reflex.
If hiccups are a regular occurrence for you, be sure to see your doctor. You don’t want to regularly rely on added sugar in your diet to get rid of hiccups. Also, hiccups can be a sign of an underlying condition, like GERD or a hiatal hernia.
11. Get Rid of Fruit Flies
Apple cider vinegar is made from fermented apple cider, and fruit flies are attracted to the smell of ripe, fermented food. To trap fruit flies, put some apple cider vinegar in a small, shallow dish, add a drop of dish soap, and set it out on the counter near your fruit bowl, garbage can, or sink. The fruit flies will fly to the vinegar and the dish soap breaks the surface tension, trapping them.
Be sure to label the dish and keep the solution out of the reach or children or pets.
12. Stamp Out Foot Odor
To help keep smelly feet under control, try using apple cider vinegar, which proponents claim may help to balance the skin’s pH and fight the bacteria that causes foot odor. Typically, a bit of apple cider vinegar is mixed into water. Baby wipes, cotton balls or pads, small towels, or cotton rags can be dipped into the solution, wrung out, and used to wipe the bottom of the feet. Wipes can be made ahead and stored in an airtight container.
Although a vinegar scent will be noticeable, it should dissipate when the vinegar solution is dried. Avoid wearing shoes made from materials that could be damaged by the acidity (like leather).
13. Swap Out Your Deodorant
An apple cider vinegar solution may help to neutralize odor-causing armpit bacteria. Typically, cotton pads, towelettes, or cotton rags are lightly spritzed with a very weak solution and swiped in the armpits. Any vinegar smell should dissipate as it dries.
It's a good idea to test it in a smaller area first and to avoid using it if you're wearing delicate fibers, like silk.
14. Clean Countertops and Other Home Surfaces
Although an apple cider vinegar solution is sometimes suggested for cleaning kitchen and bathroom countertops, mirrors, windows, toilets, and showers, white distilled vinegar is the more popular choice and is less expensive.
If you’re using any type of vinegar solution at home, don’t mix it with commercial cleaners as it can produce harmful chemicals when combined. Also, vinegar shouldn’t be used on certain surfaces, like marble, wood, or some types of grout. If you’re not sure of whether it’s safe to use, consult the manufacturer (or avoid using it altogether).
Types of Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is available filtered or unfiltered. Filtered apple cider is a clear light brown color. Unfiltered and unpasteurized ACV (such as Bragg's apple cider vinegar) has a dark, cloudy sediment at the bottom of the bottle. Known as "mother of vinegar" or simply "the mother," this sediment consists mainly of acetic acid bacteria.
Apple cider vinegar is also available in tablet form. A 2005 study, however, compared eight brands of apple cider vinegar supplements and found that the ingredients didn't correspond to the ingredients listed on the label. What's more, chemical analysis of the samples led researchers to question whether any of the products were actually apple cider vinegar or simply acetic acid.
How to Use Apple Cider Vinegar
Although most suggested uses involve diluting apple cider vinegar before applying it to body, the safety of different vinegar-to-water ratios isn't known. A 1:10 ratio has been suggested when applying it directly to skin, however, it should be weaker (or avoided entirely) on weak or delicate skin.
Although a teaspoon to a tablespoon mixed into 8 ounces of water is often suggested as a reasonable amount for internal use, the safety of various doses isn’t known.
You can try to use it highly diluted, but the amount of acetic acid in commercial apple cider vinegar varies (unlike white vinegar, which is 5 percent acetic acid) making it impossible to be sure of the true strength.
Side Effects and Safety
A Word From Verywell
Raw apple cider vinegar is one of the best natural health remedies for detoxification, helping your body digest food more easily and for a quick burst of energy. Apple cider vinegar can also be used for personal care like conditioning your hair, whitening your teeth and as a household cleaner. Some other benefits of apple cider vinegar:
You can add apple cider vinegar in salad dressing, homemade mayonnaise etc and get benefit of it. Another popular way of consuming it is mixing with water and drinking as a beverage. The dosages vary from 1-2 tsp to 1-2 tbsp. As excess of anything is harmful. So, do not exceed the recommended dosage. Excess consumption may have harmful effects. If you wish to discuss any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
1. It Will Help Your Body Maintain a Healthy Alkaline pH Level
Most of us tend to be more acidic than alkaline. One of the first steps toward better health is a body that’s more alkaline. As the acid-alkaline balance is essential, with so many bodily functions occurring only at a certain level of acidity or alkalinity, the body is constantly striving to achieve a state of equilibrium. Just a small change in pH can have a profound effect on body functioning.
The first step towards great health begins with helping the body become more alkaline. The acid-alkaline balance is important, since many functions in the body occur only at a certain level of acidity or alkalinity. Many enzymes and chemical reactions in the body work best at a particular pH, and research has shown that high acid levels lead to a lack of energy, and higher incidences of infection.
While you might think that raw organic ACV is acidic, when consumed, it actually becomes alkaline. Acid forming foods include things like processed foods, alcohol, sugar and other simple carbohydrates. Keeping your body more alkaline will naturally help keep your energy levels up and better able it to fight off illness and disease.
2. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help Lower Blood Pressure
There is also scientific evidence that ACV may help lower blood pressure, which in turn, lessens the risk of heart disease. ACV contains potassium, which is known to help balance the body’s sodium levels and maintain optimal blood pressure. It also contains magnesium, which helps to relax blood vessels walls, and ultimately lower blood pressure
3. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Improves Heart Health
In addition to lowering blood pressure, which lessens the risk of heart disease, drinking ACV can help increase HDL, or “good” cholesterol, according to a 2006 study reported in Medscape General Medicine. Other research, published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry in 2011, also confirmed these findings, and researchers also discovered that ACV can help control triglycerides.
4. It Promotes Healthy Detoxification of the Liver and Other Organs
In the process of helping to balance the body’s pH, ACV works to help detoxify the body. Research has found that it specifically helps detox the liver, and that it can help stimulate circulation. ACV boasts a variety of healing processes for the skin and blood, helping to remove harmful environmental toxins that build up in the body, especially in the liver. It helps to flush it out and improve the natural blood filtration process while boosting energy levels.
Another way ACV helps to detox the body is by breaking up mucus and cleansing the lymph nodes, which allows for better lymph circulation. When your lymphatic system is healthy, it can remove toxins from cells and improve the immune system response.
5. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Eliminates Candida Overgrowth
As ACV is rich in natural enzymes, consuming it can help eliminate candida in the body. Candida has been blamed for many different health issues, including poor memory, fatigue, headaches, depression, sugar cravings and yeast infections. While it’s a naturally occurring yeast, it can quickly grow out of control if the body becomes too acidic from eating too many processed foods or too much sugar, or if good bacteria is killed off from antibiotic use.
Candida thrives on those types of foods, which includes refined carbs like pastries and cookies. Some natural health experts believe that a sugar addiction may even stem from yeast overgrowth as the yeast needs those foods to survive, which leads one to crave and eat more and more, creating a vicious cycle.
6. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Eases Digestive Ailments
ACV is very effective when it comes to a variety of digestive disorders as it stimulates digestive juices that help the body breakdown food. It can help indigestion, bloating, gas and even heartburn. In fact, experts say that taking just a teaspoon of ACV with a glass of water will bring relief from heartburn fast. Some theories suggest that heartburn occurs due to low stomach acid levels, and ACV helps bring that level up. Additionally, the healthy acids found in ACV, including acetic, isobutryic, lactic and propionic acid aids better digestion by controlling the growth of unwanted yeast and bacteria in the stomach and throughout the body.
7. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Accelerates Weight Loss
Adding two teaspoons of ACV to 16 ounces of water and sipping it throughout the day may help boost weight loss efforts. All types of vinegars have been used over the years to aid weight loss, because they help make you feel full – as the study out of Arizona just mentioned, it’s been scientifically shown to increase satiety.
A study published in Bioscience, Biotechnology, and Biochemistry showed that participants who consumed ACV for 12 weeks managed to achieve significant declines in body weight as well as abdominal fat, waist circumference and triglycerides.
8. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Can Help to Prevent Osteoporosis
More than one in four women in America over the age of 65 have been diagnosed with osteoporosis. To get this diagnosis means that they’ve lost 50 to 75 percent of the original bone material from their skeleton. This frightening condition is estimated to affect 200 million women worldwide – about one of every 10 women aged 60, one of every five women aged 70, and two of every five women aged 80.
Obviously, preventing this disease before it ravages your bones is key, and as ACV aids in the nutrient absorption of calcium, an essential mineral for preventing osteoporosis, it’s one of the best tools you can use to reduce your risk. By drinking it along with each meal, it will help to ensure proper calcium absorption to strengthen your bones.
8. Drinking Apple Cider Vinegar Slows the Aging Process
Other than the wisdom and experience gained by becoming older, few people look forward to the physical signs of aging, like wrinkles and sagging skin. The antioxidant properties in vinegar can help prevent premature aging and even aid in slowing down the aging process. ACV’s ability to maintain the stability of the acid/alkaline balance in the body also plays a key role.
9. It Assists In the Fight Against Free Radical Damage
You’ve probably heard the term “free radicals,” but do you really know what it means? The technical definition is that it’s a molecule or atom that has an unpaired electron in its outer orbit. Free radicals are continually created in order to carry on the metabolic activity of the body and are essential to life. They fight infection by killing a variety of germs that we become infected with, but, when there is an overproduction of free radicals, it can cause all sorts of problems.
If there are more free radicals that can be handled by enzymes or antioxidant nutrients, it can cause oxidative damage to cell membranes, tissues, proteins and even DNA, which may result in diseases like ulcers, emphysema, arthritis and immune disorders. In fact, just about every disease you can think of is caused by free radicals.
Apples have a rounded shape with a depression at the top where the stem is attached. Some apples are almost perfectly round, while others are more rounded at the top and narrower at the bottom. In addition, some have knobby lobes at the calyx end (bottom) of the fruit. Apple fruits are firm and the skin is shiny and smooth. The color of the skin can be red, green, yellow, or a combination of those colors. The flesh is white or ivory.
Health Benefits of Apple
French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones.
One recent study shows that children with asthma who drank apple juice on a daily basis suffered from less wheezing than children who drank apple juice only once per month. Another study showed that children born to women who eat a lot of apples during pregnancy have lower rates of asthma than children whose mothers ate few apples.
A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.
The pectin in apples lowers LDL ("bad") cholesterol. People who eat two apples per day may lower their cholesterol by as much as 16 percent.