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Surprising Side Effects of Eating Apples, According to Science

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away, after all.
FACT CHECKED BY Kiersten Hickman

Getting healthier isn't always a chore—in fact, a popular food you probably already have at home could be the key to reducing your risk of chronic disease. Multiple studies reveal that eating apples can benefit virtually every part of your body, from head to toe. Whether you prefer a tart Granny Smith or a sweet Red Delicious, read on to discover the surprising side effects of eating apples. And if you're ready to revamp your diet, start with these 22 Meals to Melt Belly Fat in 2022.


They can improve your heart health.

woman eating fresh red apple inside house kitchen

Adding a few apples to your diet can do more than make your taste buds happy—it can keep your heart significantly healthier, as well. According to a 2019 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, individuals with mildly high cholesterol who consumed two apples a day reduced their LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, and increased their blood vessel dilation, which can reduce heart disease risk.


They can lower your blood pressure.

Woman Checking Blood Pressure At Home

If you're eager to get your blood pressure into a healthier range, eating an apple every now and then might just be the easiest way to do it. A 2020 study published in Scientific Reports found that flavanol-rich foods, including apples, can help lower blood pressure.


They can improve your gut bacteria.

happy woman hands on belly

Healthy digestion and healthy immune system start in the same place: your gut. Luckily, eating apples on a regular basis can help boost your beneficial gut bacteria. According to a 2017 study published in Nutrients, consumption of different types of apples, including Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, and Renetta Canada, increased the population of beneficial Actinobacteria within study subjects' guts. And for more on how this popular fruit can affect your health, check out the One Major Side Effect of Eating Too Many Apples.


They can help protect your dental health.

Young Man Cleaning His Teeth In Front Of Mirror

An apple a day doesn't just keep the doctor away—it may keep the dentist away, too. According to a 2018 study published in PLoS One, while eating apples doesn't remove plaque from teeth, it does reduce the bacterial viability in a person's mouth, potentially keeping those pearly whites healthier and less prone to degradation over time.


They can make your breath better.

peel apple skin

Instead of grabbing your toothbrush immediately after eating a garlicky food, try grabbing an apple instead. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Food Science reveals that eating an apple after consuming garlic can significantly reduce the enzymes in the garlic that promote bad breath. Want to make healthier choices in the produce aisle? Check out the 9 Best Fruits for Weight Loss, Approved by a Nutritionist.


They may reduce your risk of certain cancers.

Doctor explaining lungs x-ray on computer screen to patient

Something as simple as eating an apple could help you significantly lower your risk of certain types of cancer. A 2009 study published in Reviews on Environmental Health found that eating one or more apple a day significantly lowered a person's colorectal cancer risk, while a 2015 meta-analysis published in the journal Public Health Nutrition found that apple consumption was associated with a reduction in lung cancer risk. And if you want to indulge your sweet tooth in a healthy way, check out these 27 Desserts That Won't Make You Fat.

Sarah Crow
Sarah Crow is a senior editor at Eat This, Not That!, where she focuses on celebrity news and health coverage. Read more about Sarah
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