Fall is the perfect time to enjoy apples, though their health benefits can be experienced throughout the year. Apples are source of fiber and contain protective plant compounds like quercetin and pectin.
Quercetin may help control blood sugar and eating foods containing this compound has been associated with decreased diabetes risk. It may also offer protection for your heart. Pectin may help to lower cholesterol though more research is needed.
Try adding more apples into your cooking this fall:
Not a fan of apples? Quercetin can also be found in:
Boyer J and RH Liu. Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Nutrition Journal. 2004; 3:5.
Brouns F, et al. Cholesterol lowering properties of different pectin types in mildly hypercholesterolemic men and women. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition. 2012; 66: 591-599.
Dabeek, WM and MV Marra. Dietary quercetin and kaempferol: bioavailability and potential cardiovascular-related bioactivity in humans. Nutrients. 2019; 11(10):2288.
Dhanya R. Quercetin for managing type 2 diabetes and its complications, an insight into multitarget therapy. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy. 2022;146:112560.
Gerhauser C. Cancer chemopreventive potential of apples, apple juice, and apple components. Planta Medica. 2008;74(13):1608-1624.
Koutsos A, Tuohy KM, Lovegrove JA. Apples and cardiovascular health--is the gut microbiota a core consideration?. Nutrients. 2015;7(6):3959-3998.
Wojdyło A, Oszmiański J, Laskowski P. Polyphenolic compounds and antioxidant activity of new and old apple varieties. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. 2008;56(15):6520-6530.
Yao Z, Gu Y, Zhang Q, et al. Estimated daily quercetin intake and association with the prevalence of type 2 diabetes mellitus in Chinese adults. European Journal of Nutrition. 2019;58(2):819-830.
Yi H, Peng H, Wu X, et al. The therapeutic effects and mechanisms of quercetin on metabolic diseases: Pharmacological Data and clinical evidence. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. 2021; 6678662.
By Ummu D Erliana, PhD, CLC, MGH Dietetic Intern