The apple is the most popular fruit in Germany: on average, everyone eats 30 kilograms or around 125 apples per year. An apple consists of 85 percent water. The pome fruit has only 45 to 60 kilocalories per 100 grams. This makes apples suitable for a low-calorie diet.
Fruit sugar in the apple
However, apples and apple products sometimes differ very clearly in their fructose content:
- An apple weighing 100 grams contains around six grams of fructose.
- 250 milliliters of apple juice contain 25 grams of fruit sugar.
- 100 grams of dried apple rings contain 54 grams of fructose.
Nutrients in apple
The nutritional content of apples varies depending on storage and variety. Most of the vitamins and polyphenols sit directly under the shell. Therefore, it is best to eat apples unpeeled – but wash them thoroughly beforehand. Apples are particularly rich in these ingredients:
Potassium is essential for the conduction of stimuli in the nervous system and for controlling the contraction of muscle cells. In addition, potassium is involved in the regulation of the pH value and blood pressure.
Calcium is mainly stored in bones and teeth. It plays an important role in the transmission of stimuli in nerve cells and in blood clotting.
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) is primarily responsible for obtaining energy from carbohydrates and is therefore important for the brain and the heart muscle. Vitamin B1 is also involved in the transmission of stimuli between nerves and muscles.
The body needs vitamin B2 in order to be able to use proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
Vitamin B6 plays an important role in the production of the body’s own messenger substances and in blood formation. It is also involved in lipid metabolism and the regulation of the immune system.
Vitamin E has an antioxidant effect as it intercepts so-called free radicals and thereby protects cells. Vitamin E can also reduce inflammatory reactions and prevent arteriosclerosis.
Folic acid plays a crucial role in cell division and blood formation.
Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, helps defend against cell-damaging free radicals and is important for the development of connective tissue and for wound healing. However, apples contain significantly less vitamin C than many other types of fruit, such as kiwi or orange .
Pectin’s are indigestible fibers in the apple peel that stimulate the intestinal bacteria to produce butyric acid. It is good for the digestion and protects the intestinal wall. In addition, pectin’s swell in the intestine, which makes you full for a long time.
Polyphenols are so-called secondary plant substances that apples use to protect themselves from insects and fungal attack. There are a particularly large number of polyphenols in old varieties such as Boskoop, Berlepsch or Cox Orange. They have a positive effect on blood pressure and inhibit inflammatory reactions. They can also reduce the risk of developing dementia.
Old apple varieties: Antioxidant effect through polyphenols
Polyphenols are antioxidants that protect our cells from free radicals. A test at the Max Rubner Institute for Nutritional Research in Karlsruhe showed how well this works: there, immune cells from the blood of six test subjects were stimulated with a special solution. The researchers simulated a massive attack by free radicals. A special investigation showed that the cell nuclei were visibly damaged. Afterwards, the test subjects each ate one kilogram of apples. After that, the free radicals could no longer harm the cell nuclei. This clear effect astonished even the researchers.
The polyphenols have a tart, almost bitter taste and turn brown when they come into contact with oxygen. That is why there are few polyphenols in an apple that, once bitten, has hardly any brown spots even after hours. The amount of antioxidants in apples depends on the variety and the climate. The general rule is: Old varieties usually have a higher content of polyphenols. They were often bred out of newer, particularly sweet varieties.
Allergy to apples: what to do
The apple allergy is the most common fruit allergy in Germany. It is usually a cross allergy: Anyone who is allergic to pollen will also show an allergic reaction when consuming apples.
Allergy sufferers react primarily to apple varieties such as Jonagold, Granny Smith, Braeburn, Elstar and Gala. Many young varieties contain a particularly large number of proteins that allergy sufferers do not get.
Old varieties such as Rote Wellant, Finkenwerder Herbstprinz and Gravensteiner as well as Alkmene, Berlepsch, Boskop, Idared, Jamba or Rubinette are weakly allergenic . In addition, cooked and processed apples are easy to enjoy for most allergy sufferers.