Is it unhealthy to eat apple peel?

Apple: how healthy is he?

They are among the most popular types of fruit: Apples are most commonly eaten by people in Germany. While a man consumes 107 grams of apples a day, women eat 118 grams.

The apple is a so-called pome fruit and belongs to the rose family. Sweet, tart, sour: there are many different varieties that are harvested at different times. Storage also varies.

An apple is so healthy!

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" - this saying is well known. But in which complaints do apples actually have an influence? We present the current knowledge.

Protection against cardiovascular diseases

The knowledge about secondary plant substances is still relatively new and has only just been researched. These include the so-called polyphenols that are contained in apples.

They are said to protect the body from free radicals. These arise during normal metabolic processes as well as through UV radiation, nicotine and medication. Among other things, they increase the risk of arteriosclerosis - a heart disease in which blood lipids, blood clots and connective tissue are deposited inside the vessels and calcified.

Polyphenols also have an influence on blood clotting and blood pressure. In this way, too, they offer protection against cardiovascular diseases.

How many polyphenols are in a single apple depends on the variety and the climate. Older varieties such as Eifeler Rambur, Alkmene, Goldparmäne and Roter Boskoop tend to contain more polyphenols.

In the case of newer apple varieties such as Golden Delicious, Gala or Jonagold, polyphenols have been deliberately avoided during breeding. The background: Without the secondary plant substances, they taste sweeter and do not turn brown as quickly after cutting.

Polyphenols work in conjunction with pectin and vitamin E, which are also contained in apples. Pectin is a water-soluble fiber. It is broken down by the colon bacteria into butyric acid, which has an anti-inflammatory effect.

Vitamin E has an anti-inflammatory effect as it also protects the body's cells from free radicals. Important to know: Inflammatory processes are often the trigger for cardiovascular diseases.

Reducing the risk of cancer

There are several studies showing that people who ate an apple a day lowered their risk of developing various types of cancer. These include in particular diseases such as lung and colon cancer. One reason are the phytochemicals flavonoids and phenolic acids contained in apples.

Good for digestion

Grated apples are a tried and tested home remedy when it comes to diarrhea. This is due, among other things, to the ingredient pectin, which strengthens digestion. The reason: the multiple sugars swell up in the intestine. This binds excess fluid. In addition, pectin lines the intestinal wall with a protective gel film and neutralizes toxins.

The effect of grated apples is stronger because it increases the surface area of ​​the apple pieces. It is best to let them brown briefly in the air. This creates even more pectin. The Jonagold and Boskoop varieties in particular contain pectin.

Tip: Apple pectin is also available as a powder in stores. It is usually used to make jellies and jams. But it also tastes good in smoothies or breakfast porridge - just stir in the tip of a knife.

Prevents respiratory diseases

Apples also contain the phytochemicals quercetin, a natural antihistamine that is helpful against allergies. Quercetin also strengthens the immune system, has an antiviral effect and thus helps prevent respiratory diseases.

Scottish scientists also found that consuming a lot of apples during pregnancy prevented the unborn child from developing asthma. Effects were shown when the women ate at least four apples a week.

The researchers also found that children who drink apple juice every day were less likely to experience coughing, wheezing and specific whistling noises when they exhale.

In traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) apples are also considered to be expectorant.

Nutrients in apple

An apple consists of 85 percent water and is low in calories with 50 to 70 calories per piece. It contains more than 30 vitamins and minerals. When you eat an apple, it is best to eat it unpeeled. The reason: Most of the vitamins and phytochemicals are directly in or under the peel.

It is also good for your health to choose apples with a low sugar content. Sugar promotes inflammation in the body and therefore also diseases such as arteriosclerosis. The total sugar is relatively low in varieties like Granny Smith and Dümener Rosenapfel.

These nutrients are found in an apple, among others:

  • Pectin: This soluble fiber is one of the most important ingredients in apples. Pectins have a high water-binding and swelling capacity and thus have a positive effect on digestion. They also bind bile acid and prevent it from entering the intestine. The effect: the cholesterol level drops as a result.
  • Secondary plant substances: According to scientific studies, polyphenols have an antioxidant effect in the body by neutralizing free radicals in the body and rendering them harmless. These include catechins, phloridzin, chlorogenic acid, and quercetin. They are also said to have a positive effect on blood pressure. However, the scientific knowledge is still very early.
  • Vitamin C: The body needs vitamin C for a strong immune system. In addition, vitamin C intercepts cell-damaging oxygen compounds in the body. It also helps with wound healing and the development of connective tissue.
  • Calcium: The vital element for the human body is involved in bone metabolism, in the transmission of stimuli in the nerve cells and in blood clotting. Calcium is also essential for the teeth.
  • Iron: The so-called trace element is mainly involved in the transport of oxygen in the body.
  • Potassium: It is important for the normal function of cells, nerves and muscles. Together with sodium, potassium ensures a balanced water balance in the body.

A medium-sized apple (100 g) contains the following nutrients in summary:

  • Energy: 57 kcal
  • Carbohydrates: 11.4 g
  • Dietary fiber: 2.0 g
  • Protein 0.3 g
  • Fat: 0.6 g
  • Water: 85 g
  • Vitamin C: 12 mg
  • Vitamin A in retinol equivalent (RÄ): 6 µg
  • Potassium: 120 mg
  • Calcium: 5 mg
  • Iron: 0.25 mg

Allergy to apples: Old apple varieties tend to be more suitable

People who are allergic to birch pollen and other types of tree pollen also have allergic reactions to apples in some cases. The cause is the allergen "Mal d1", which is contained in many apple varieties. This includes:

  • Golden Delicious
  • Granny Smith
  • Gala
  • Jonagold

With old apple varieties such as the Red Boskoop, on the other hand, those affected often react less strongly or not at all. Scientists from the Charité Berlin found that old apple varieties usually have a higher polyphenol content, which is associated with a lower content of the allergy-causing protein "Mal d1". In the newer varieties, polyphenol has been bred out for a more pleasant, less sour-tart taste.

Conventional fruit growing has reacted to this and deliberately bred apple varieties that are compatible with allergy sufferers. This includes Santana, which was created in the Netherlands in the 1970s. In Bavaria there are the new varieties Gräfin Goldach.

The BUND Lemgo has compiled a list of which apple varieties tend to be tolerable for allergy sufferers. This includes:

There are also studies that show that after consuming such old apple varieties, the symptoms of hay fever were less severe.

Apple varieties at a glance

The most popular apple varieties include:

Berlepsch

The Berlepsch variety has been bred for more than 120 years. The apples are medium-sized and brown-red in color. Their taste is sour, juicy and aromatic. They are very high in vitamin C. They are suitable for eating straight, for cake, puree or as a baked apple.

Boskoop

A boskoop can be recognized by its rough, matt shell, which is usually washed out orange to dark red in color. It is very high in sugar, but still has a refreshing taste. Like the Berlepsch, it contains a lot of vitamin C and is just as versatile.

Cox orange

The Cox Orange comes from England and has been on the market since 1859. Its skin is light red to brown-red. It has a sweet and sour taste that is very popular. The Cox Orange is also suitable for puree, cakes or for direct consumption.

Golden Delicious

The Golden Delicious is very popular all over the world. Its skin is greenish-yellow to yellow. On the sunny side, it usually has a reddish color. It tastes sweet and has little acidity. It is used for drying, baking and juice, among other things.

Granny Smith

It stands out simply because of its grass-green skin: the Granny Smith was discovered by chance in Australia in 1869. It has a slightly acidic aroma and tastes refreshing. Its sugar content is comparatively low. For example, it tastes good in muesli or simply on its own.

Jonagold

The Jonagold variety was bred from "Golden Delicious" and "Jonathan". The apple has a greenish-yellow skin, half of which is bright red and has stripes. Its taste is sweet and slightly sour. What is special about it is its high vitamin C content. It can be used in many ways in the kitchen: for puree, cakes, for preserving or just plain.

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