Health Benefits of Green Apples

Apples are America’s most popular fruit. They’re grown in orchards all across the country and harvested in the early fall.

Green apples are slightly more sour than red apples. Common varieties of green apple include: 

  • Granny Smith Apples
  • Crispin Apples
  • Shizuka Apples
  • Pippin Apples

Each variety has a slightly different taste, and cooks may prefer one type of green apple over another, depending on what they’re making. For most people, choosing the best green apple is a matter of personal preference depending on how tart or sweet you like your apples. 

Health Benefits

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” the saying goes. Considering the many health benefits that come with eating apples, this dietary proverb may not be too far from the truth. Here are a few of the health benefits you can get from eating green apples:

Improve Heart Health

Eating apples has been shown to improve heart health, lowering the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases

The exact reason apples improve heart health is unclear. One contributing factor may be the high levels of dietary fiber in apples, as dietary fiber has been linked to lowering LDL cholesterol.

Reduce Risk of Developing Type 2 Diabetes

Eating as few as a couple of green apples each week may reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes, according to one study, though more research needs to be done. It remains unclear whether the compounds in green apples help people manage their diabetes symptoms. 

Promote Digestive Health

Green apples contain a compound called pectin, a fiber source that works as a prebiotic to promote the growth of healthy bacteria in your gut. The pectin found in green apples can help you break down foods more efficiently.

The high fiber content in green apples can have other impacts on your digestive health as well. Fiber is shown to stimulate the digestive system, helping with both constipation and diarrhea. People with Irritable B owel S yndrome and other digestive disorders may find relief for their symptoms by adding more fiber-rich foods into their diets.

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Nutrition

Green apples aren’t just packed with dietary fiber. They are also a good source of: 

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C
  • Calcium
  • Iron

Nutrients per Serving

One medium green apple contains: 

  • Calories: 95
  • Fat: 0 grams
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams
  • Sodium: 2 milligrams
  • Carbohydrates: 25 grams
  • Dietary Fiber: 4 grams
  • Sugar: 19 grams
  • Protein: 1 gram

Portion Sizes

Although apples are good for you in moderation, they are relatively high in carbohydrates, especially sugar. A medium apple counts as one serving of the recommended 4-5 servings of fruit per day.

How to Prepare Green Apples

Apples are one of the most versatile fruits to work with in the kitchen. While they can be eaten raw, and pair nicely with peanut butter for a mid-afternoon snack, they can also be used in cooking and baking. As apples cook, the sugars break down, sweetening and lending flavor to whatever they’re cooked with.

Some of the best ways to prepare green apples include: 

  •  Cooked on the stovetop with butter and cinnamon
  •  Baked into a pie
  •  Mixed into a slaw with cabbage and cider vinegar
  •  Chopped and tossed in a garden salad
  •  Hollowed out and baked with brown sugar and pecans
  •  Cooked and served with pork chops or potato pancakes
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH on September 09, 2020

Sources

SOURCES: 

Advances in Nutrition: “A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health.”

American Heart Association: “Fruits and Vegetables Serving Sizes Infographic.”

ESHA Research, Inc., Salem, Oregon.

Mayo Clinic: “Dietary Fiber: Essential for a Healthy Diet.”

Nutrients: “Apples and cardiovascular health--is the gut microbiota a core consideration?”

US Department of Agriculture: “Apples and oranges are America’s top fruit choices.”

© 2020 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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