Apples benefit your health by boosting your intake of vitamin C, or ascorbic acid. Vitamin C helps you make collagen, a protein found abundantly in your skin. Collagen is a crucial structural component of skin and helps maintain your skin's waterproof barrier. Low collagen production caused by vitamin C deficiency affects your skin, leading to a re-opening of old wounds and skin tearing. A large apple contains 10.3 milligrams of vitamin C, 14 percent of the daily vitamin C requirements for women, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, or 11 percent for men.
Apples also provide a source of copper, an essential mineral that contributes to healthy skin. Copper helps you make melanin, the brown-black pigment that colors your skin. Melanin in your skin protects you from the sun's ultraviolet rays, so being able to produce melanin provides natural sun protection. Melanin also makes up an essential part of other tissues, including your eyes and hair. Each large apple contains 60 micrograms of copper, or 7 percent of your daily copper requirements, according to the Linus Pauling Institute.
Apples provide a small amount of skin-friendly vitamin A, a family of chemicals called retinoids. Vitamin A plays an important role in skin development -- it helps immature skin develop into mature and functional skin tissue. Vitamin A might also reduce the risk of skin cancer, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, although more research is needed to know its exact role in cancer prevention. A large apple provides 120 international units of vitamin A. According to the Linus Pauling Institute, this makes up 5 percent of the daily vitamin A requirements for women or 4 percent for men.
Serving Suggestions and Tips
Apples travel well, so they provide a healthy snack option, but the fruit can also contribute to a range of dishes. Top a piece of whole-grain toast with thinly-sliced apple, sharp cheddar shavings and cinnamon for a savory and sweet open-faced sandwich. Add apples to your salad -- the fruit pairs well with dried cranberries, spinach and a maple-balsamic vinaigrette. Try adding apples to your pureed soups -- butternut squash and apple soup or a carrot-ginger-apple soup make for comforting meals in cooler weather. Let's start day one of the new year by adding an apple today to your diet, slice some for the kids, or grate some up in your yogurt, be creative!