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Apple: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, and More!

By Dr Anuja Bodhare +2 more


Apple, scientifically known as Malus domestica Borkh, belongs to the family Rosaceae. Apple grows in all temperate zone and is majorly cultivated in Asia and Europe. The native species of the genus Malus originated from the region of Himalayan India, Pakistan, China, Asia Minor and Central Asia.1,2

apple benefits

Apple might be considered one of the most nutritional fruit.   It may increase   immunity, impart   stress resistance, and also contains bioactive compounds that are beneficial for human health. As the proverb suggests, ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, apples are a healthy fruit.1,2

Did you know?

  • Apples are the second most consumed fruit in the United States. Source: US Apple Association
  • Eating apples can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Source: NCBI
  • Regular apple consumption has been associated with a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Source: NCBI

Nutritional Value of Apple:  

Apple is an enriching source of nutrients and bioactive compounds, including vitamins and trace elements.1 

Nutritional component Value  
Total Calories 65.0 Kcal 
Total fat 0.16 g 
Protein 0.15 g 
Carbohydrate 15.6 g 
Sugar 13.3 g 
Dietary Fibre 2.1 g 
  Table 1: Nutritional components of apple1 

Apples are high in a fibre called pectin. On average, one apple has 5 grams of fibre. Pectin improves digestion and may help relieve diarrhoea. Pectin also helps lower cholesterol.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD
Bioactive compoundValue (mg/100g)
Thiamine (vit B1)0.006 mg
Riboflavin (vit B2)0.068 mg
Niacin (vit B3)0.091 mg
Vitamin B60.035 mg
Vitamin C12.8 mg
Table 2: Bioactive compounds and vitamins present in apple per 100 grams3

Minerals Value (mg/100g) 
Potassium                       104 mg 
Calcium 6.0 mg 
Phosphorus 10.0 mg 
Magnesium 4.7 mg 
Sodium 1.0 mg 
Iron 0.02 mg 
Zinc 0.02 mg 
Copper 0.033 mg 
Manganese 0.033 mg 
    Table 3: Minerals and other trace elements present in apple per 100 grams3 

Also Read: Pear: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects and More!

Properties of Apple:

Several studies have specifically found that eating apples reduced the risk for cancer, especially lung cancer.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

Scientific evidence has proved that the bioactive compounds present in apples may have potential  properties which might be beneficial for human health.1

  • It may act as an  antioxidant (decreases oxidative stress)
  • It may have  antimicrobial activity
  • It may have  anti-inflammatory action (reduces swelling)
  • It may have  anti-ulcerative properties (reduces ulcers)
  • It may have  blood pressure-lowering activity
  • It may have  digestive properties
  • It may have  anti-cancer activity
  • It may have blood sugar-lowering activity
  • It may have an immunity-boosting activity.1

Also Read: Hibiscus: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, And More!

Potential Uses of Apple:

Apples may have potential uses due to its nutrients and bioactive compounds:

Potential uses of apple for digestion aliments

Apples are rich in soluble dietary fibres called pectin, which might be helpful in the digestion process. We often remove the skin of the apples, but  studies have reported that the total proportion of pectin in apples is around 1.79%, which is majorly present in apple peels (more than in apple pulp). Apple might provide beneficial effects related to inflammatory bowel disease with added support from the intestinal microflora. Apples are also effective dietary supplements that may be helpful against the harmful effects of aspirin on the stomach and helpmanage colon (part of the large intestine) damage due to ulcers.1

This information is insufficient and requires further research to say that apples might benefit digestion ailments.

Eating apples has been linked with reduced risk of asthma and has been positively associated with overall lung health, as per a recent study in Australia.

Dr. Smita Barode, BAMS

Potential uses of apple for   blood sugar

Diabetes mellitus or type-2 diabetes is a metabolic disorder identified by irregular functioning of the insulin hormone. A flavonoid present  in apple peel may be associated with decreased risk of type-2 diabetes.1,2

 A study done by Knekt et al. 2002 has shown that eating apples and apple juice might effectively lower the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. It also showed delayed intestinal absorption of glucose and low levels of plasma insulin due to the presence of flavonoids in the juice.1,2

However, the information available is insufficient to establish the mentioned benefits of apples on blood sugar levels in humans and more studies are essential to validate these benefits further.

Potential uses of apple for the skin

Apples may have a beneficial effect on the skin as the apple juice contains flavonoids. Stable water in oil emulsion containing apple extract formulation applied on hyper-pigmented human skin may help decrease the sebum (oily substance) production. Itmight also decrease  melanin level (a pigment responsible for skin colour), greasiness, and erythema (skin redness), which cause acne.1

Apples have antioxidant properties that may help keep the skin softer, maintain skin surface moisture and decrease skin diseases.1

This information is insufficient and requires further studies to support the potential use of apples to overcome skin-related problems in humans.

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Did you know that apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free? However, you should not peel your apple. Nearly 65% of the fibre and antioxidants are found in its peel. No wonder peeled apples turn brown quickly! Antioxidants reduce cell damage, which can trigger inflammation.

Dr. Ahuja Bodhare, MD

Potential uses of apple for weight management

Studies were conducted to confirm the effect of apples on weight. Apples might have the potential use in managing weight. It may be helpful in lowering fat which is stored deep inside the organs and may inhibit the pancreatic enzyme (lipase) action, which leads to a decrease in fats levels. Apple might also help  stop glucose transport and increase  the feeling of satisfaction. A study report confirmed that apple dietary fibre pectin might be helpful  in weight management in people due to the decrease in energy density of the diet. These results may indicate that apples and apple juices might have a  a beneficial role in weight management.1

Unfortunately, these studies are insufficient to suggest the effectiveness of apples in weight management. Further studies are needed on the potential use of apples for weight management in humans. Therefore, it is preferable to seek medical advice from a doctor before consuming apples to keep a check on your weight.

Potential uses of apple for cancer

One of the significant benefits of consuming apples daily is that it might help lower the risk of developing cancer. In animal studies by Ohkami et al. (1995), apples have shown to be effective against colon, colorectal, skin and breast cancer. The laboratory studies on human cell lines have used apple peel extract that may have displayed dose-dependent anti-cancer activity, which may limit  the spread of cancer cells. This anti-cancer activity of apple may be due to the presence of phytochemicals in apple peel extract, which may be more effective alone than the whole fruit.1,2

Further, more human trials are needed to support the potential use of apples for cancer management in humans. Therefore, it is preferable to seek medical attention from a doctor before consuming apples as a herb.

Potential uses of apple for pregnancy

The benefits of eating apples every day during pregnancy were observed during a human study (Willers et al. 2007). The results suggest the positive influence of apples during pregnancy might be because of their flavonoids, which may have potential antioxidant properties and may be associated with a reduced risk of lung diseases. Thus, the consumption of apples may benefit pregnancy and reduce  the risk of developing lung disease and eczema (a skin condition) in children.It also might benefit  the immune system of the babies.4

However, this study is insufficient and more studies are required to confirm its prolonged effect during pregnancy and on babies’ health. Therefore, it is essential to consult a doctor to know more about this subject.

Apples are rich in quercetin. Quercetin is a natural plant-based chemical belonging to the flavonoid category. It is the quercetin that gives apples their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Dr. Ashok pal, BAMS

Also Read: Apricot: Uses, Benefits & Side Effects

Other Potential Uses of apple:

  • A study in an animal model showed a reduction in total cholesterol and triglycerides levels due to antioxidant compounds in apples. It might be useful in lowering blood cholesterol levels in humans.1
  • Apples may enhance immunity due to vitamin C and bioactive compounds, which might be helpful in anaemia.1,2
  • Various conditions such as gout and kidney-related diseases can be effectively managed with apple extract.1

Though there are studies which show the benefits of apples in various conditions, these are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true scope of benefits of apples on human health. Additionally, every person might respond differently to apple preparations. Therefore, it is important to consult a doctor before using apples for any medical condition.

How to Use Apple?

The whole fruit is edible except for the seeds.1

  • Apples are consumed as raw fruit, fermented ciders and juices, wine, vinegar, jams and jellies, compotes, tea, and applejack, as well as used in cooking where it is mixed with sugar and sweets.1,2
  • Apple makes delicious desserts and delicacies like apple sauce, nectars, apple pie, and cakes.1,2
  • Apple peel can be used as a gelling and thickening agent, emulsifier and stabiliser in food.1
  • Bright pigments are extracted from apple peels and used as a food colour.1,2
  • Some marketed nutrition tablets and apple soft capsules are prepared from apple extracts..1

People must consult a qualified doctor before having any herbal supplement made from apples. Likewise, do not discontinue or replace an ongoing medical treatment with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.

Side Effects of Apple:

Although apple products are proven safe and recommended as a part of a healthy and staple diet, some people might experience allergies with severe reactions.5 Such side effects should be reported immediately to the doctors. They will be the best person to provide you with a proper treatment for allergies.

Also Read: Cranberry: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

Precautions to Take With Apple:

Apple might be safe when consumed in moderation, but precaution is always better than cure.

  • Apples might be safe during pregnancy as they are full of essential nutrients. No sufficient information is available to suggest the side effects of apples for pregnant and breastfeeding women. However,  doctors advice is beneficial if any problem appears.
  • Children are always susceptible to various infections and diseases as their immune system is still in the developing stage. Therefore, special precautions should be taken while giving apple products to children as they might develop allergies. A doctor’s consultant is necessary to avoid such problems in children.
  • Apple seeds contain a small amount of cyanide. The excess consumption of these seeds may lead to cyanide poisoning. So, avoid consuming apple seeds.6

You must disclose your ongoing treatment  to your doctor and get advice on consuming apples and make informed choices for its benefits.

Also Read: Does Apple Cider Vinegar Go Bad? Understanding Its Shelf Life

Interactions With Other Drugs:

  • Before making any modification to the diet, a doctor must be consulted because foods might interact with drugs, affecting the nutritional value of food and lowering the drugs’s effect.7
  • Fruit juice’s nutrients can significantly affect the absorption and distribution of various drugs.
  • Apple juice intake can affect the absorption of fexofenadine (antihistamine drug that treats allergies), celiprolol (blood pressure medicine) and ciprofloxacin (antibiotic drug).
  • The co-administration of fexofenadine, celiprolol, or ciprofloxacin with apple juice, weakens the oral bioavailability and interferes with absorption, decreasing this drug’s potential efficacy.7

Thus, we recommend you consult a physician. They will direct you to the better way to have apple or apple products as a herb.

Also Read: Ber Fruit: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & More!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which vitamin is present in apples?

Apple contains vitamin C,  E and B-6 that have antioxidant properties and might enhance immunity.1 However, apples should not be used to self-medicate before consulting doctors.

Do apple antioxidants beneficial for brain diseases?

Yes. Apple antioxidants are also called free radicals scavengers that might be beneficial for brain diseases, which are caused by damage to the brain cells and nervous system.1 However, this information is not enough; more studies are required to support the benefits of apples on human health.

Does apple help in detoxification?

Yes. The polyphenols present in apples might help eliminate heavy metals such as lead and mercury from the body,  showing the detoxification ability of apples.1 However, this information is insufficient and requires more studies to confirm the benefits of apples on human health.

What are the benefits of boiled apples?

Some people experience an allergic reaction to apples. Apple allergens are heat-sensitive, so removing apple peel and boiling it might reduce the potential risk of severe allergy.5 However, more human studies are required to provide the benefits of using boiled apples to reduce the potential allergens. You can always seek the advice of a doctor.

What are the side effects of eating apple seeds?

Apple seeds contain cyanide in small quantities. If eaten in excess amount might cause cyanide poisoning. Therefore, avoid eating apple seeds.6


  1. Patocka J, Bhardwaj K, Klimova B, Nepovimova E, Wu Q, Landi M, et al. Malus domestica: A Review on Nutritional Features, Chemical Composition, Traditional and Medicinal Value. Plants . 2020 Nov;9(11):1–19. Available from: https://pmc/articles/PMC7690411/
  2. Mushtaq R, Wani AW, Nayik GA. Apple. Antioxidants in Fruits: Properties and Health Benefits. 2020 Dec;507–521. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-15-7285-2_26
  3. FoodData Central [Internet]. [cited 2022 May 20]. Available from: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1750340/nutrients
  4. Willers SM, Devereux G, Craig LCA, McNeill G, Wijga AH, Abou El-Magd W, et al. Maternal food consumption during pregnancy and asthma, respiratory and atopic symptoms in 5”year”old children. Thorax. 2007 Sep ;62(9):773-779. Available from: https://pmc/articles/PMC2117307/
  5. Siekierzynska A, Piasecka-Kwiatkowska D, Myszka | Aleksander, Burzynska M, Sozanska B, Sozanski T. R E V I E W Apple allergy: Causes and factors influencing fruits allergenic properties-Review. 2021 Apr;e12032:1-8 ; Available from: https://doi.org/10.1002/clt2.12032
  6. CYANIDE LEACH MINING PACKET Mineral Policy Center. [cited 2022 May 25]; Available from: http://www7.nau.edu/itep/main/hazsubmap/docs/Mining/Cyanide_Leach_Packet.pdf
  7. Paolo D, Benedetti A, di Paolo A, Giannese D, Cupisti A. Citation: Interactions between Food and Drugs, and Nutritional Status in Renal Patients: A Narrative Review. 2022 Jan;14(212):1-25. Available from: https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14010212

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