Which Apple Is the Healthiest For You?
It’s time to compare apples to apples, literally. Find out which apples are the healthiest.
When researching anything, you often hear that you should compare apples to apples. But when was the last time you compared apples to apples, literally? Shiny vs. dull, red vs. green, sweet vs tart, and crisp vs. soft; the list goes on.
You may like Fuji, Gala, or Honeycrisp apples while others prefer Granny Smith, Pippin (not the Hobbit), or Golden Delicious.
Regardless of taste preference, apples are widely known to be high in fiber and low in calories—a great mix for someone trying to eat healthy. But what about other factors? Is there really one apple that deserves an award for being the healthiest?
A 2011 study conducted by the University of Western Australia found that apples rich in flavonoids (plant pigment) may improve heart health. The Pinky Lady was at the top of the charts. Professor Jonathan Hodgson led the study and said, “We found that flavonoid-rich apples improve blood vessel relaxation and enhance nitric oxide status—the molecule that causes blood vessel relaxation. A reduced ability of the blood vessels to relax may cause high blood pressure and heart disease.”
Flavonoids can help regulate blood pressure and protect against heart disease. So, is Pink Lady really the healthiest apple out there? It depends on who you ask and how they classify “healthiest,” but one thing is for sure—eating one constitutes a wise decision on your part.
Known for its beautiful, deep red and thick skin, the Red Delicious apple packs a nutrient-filled punch. According to the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, certain compounds (polyphenolic) found in apples may play a big role in human health. Studies show that Red Delicious apples are higher in these compounds than many other types and the vast majority of nutrition lies in the skin of the apple.
If you’re looking for an apple that has been scientifically proven to help with weight loss, Granny Smith apples should become a regular part of your nutrition. Scientists know that an imbalance of colon bacteria may cause obese people to experience inflammation or lead to diabetes. Granny Smith apples contain non-digestible compounds that actually can help balance out the bacteria in your colon, according to a journal published in Food Chemistry.
Organic apples are often popular because they are grown in a different environment than conventional apples. According the Mayo Clinic, “The word ‘organic’ refers to the way farmers grow and process agricultural products . . . Organic farming practices are designed to encourage soil and water conservation and reduce pollution.”
Organic apples are also far more likely to be pesticide-free, unlike conventional apples. This does not, however, mean that all organic is better (or healthier) than something not organically produced.
Related: Healthy Sautéed Cinnamon Apples
Red, green, golden, or organic, results are mixed on who takes home the healthiest apple award. So, instead of naming a top dog, we’ll just recommend that you enjoy your favorite apples and eat at least four servings of fruit and five servings of vegetables each day, as recommended by the American Heart Association.