The Effect of Apples On Blood Pressure

  • Yihua Han BSc Nutrition and Medical Sciences- University College London (UCL)
  • Claudia Mohanathas BSc in Biomedical Sciences, Queen Mary University of London
  • Ellen Rogers MSc in Advanced Biological Sciences, University of Exeter


"An apple a day keeps the doctor away". This proverb has been said many times, but have you ever stopped to think about how true it is? The apple, which many of us have eaten since we were kids, is more than just a sweet treat or a quick snack. There are a lot of nutrients in its bright skin, and there's more and more proof that these fruits may be very good for our heart health. Along with being tasty, apples may be good for our circulation system and blood pressure levels.

Heart diseases are becoming more common around the world, so it's more important than ever to learn about and use natural ways to keep our hearts healthy.1 And what better way to begin than with the well-known and loved apple? This article will take you on a trip to find out the interesting ways that apples may help you keep your blood pressure in check and your heart healthy.

Three takeaways to look forward to:

  1. The nutrients in apples contribute to heart health
  2. How regular apple consumption may affect blood pressure
  3. Ways to ensure you get the maximum benefits from your apples

How does eating apples affect blood pressure?

Apples have several health benefits, including:

They are rich in fibre 

Apples are more than just a tasty treat; they're also full of fibre, especially when eaten with their skin on. But why is fibre important? Well, dietary fibre is good for you in many ways, and one of them is that it can help lower the amount of cholesterol in your blood.2 Plaque can build up in our arteries when we have high cholesterol, making them smaller and making it harder for blood to flow through them. Eventually, your blood pressure goes up, raising your risk of heart disease.

Since fibre in apples lowers cholesterol, it is a key part of maintaining healthy blood flow, which leads to a healthier heart. But this story has more than one side. Fibre also helps keep blood sugar levels steady, decreasing your risk of diabetes. Diabetes is another risk factor linked to heart disease that goes down when blood sugar stays stable.2

They contain antioxidants

Antioxidants are very important for our bodies because they fight oxidative stress, a process that can hurt our cells and cause inflammation - even in our blood vessels. Apples are a great source of flavonoids and vitamin C, which keep our blood arteries healthy and flexible by protecting them from chronic inflammation.3 Blood vessels that are elastic can easily get bigger or smaller, which helps our blood flow more smoothly and makes it easier to control our blood pressure. 

Apples also have a group of chemicals called polyphenols which are also strong antioxidants. Polyphenols have also been studied for their potential anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and particularly heart health benefits.3

They are rich in potassium

Apples are good for your heart because they have potassium as well as fibre and vitamins.4 This important mineral is often overlooked in favour of sodium, which is often linked to high blood pressure when eaten in large amounts.4 Potassium ions, on the other hand, keep things in balance. 

Potassium helps keep our bodies in balance by counteracting the negative effects of excessive sodium. As such, a healthy mix of sodium and potassium is important for making sure that our cells work right, our muscles contract smoothly, and our hearts beat steadily. Apples help keep this balance by giving us a lot of potassium, helping keep our blood pressure in a healthy range.

They are low in calories

apples are a guilt-free snack because they are low in calories, so you can satisfy your hunger without consuming too many extra calories. This can be very important for losing weight. People who are overweight, especially around the waist, are more likely to get heart disease. Apples can help you keep a healthy weight because they are full of fibre, making you feel full without giving you too many calories.

Incorporating apples into your diet

You can eat apples in several ways:

Whole and raw

Perhaps the best way to eat apples is in their natural, raw state - especially with their skins still on. A lot of the apple's fibre and calories are in the skin. Try not to peel your apple the next time you grab one for a snack. Wash it well, take a bite, and enjoy the crunchiness while knowing that you're getting all of its health benefits.

In a salad

If you want to spice up a plain salad, apples are a great choice. They go well with a lot of different things because of their sweet and tart taste. Cut them into small pieces or slices and add them to a salad with other fresh fruits, nuts for extra crunch, and maybe some cheese for a creamy kick. Add a light vinaigrette, and you have a meal that is both refreshing and good for your heart! 

In smoothies

Apples are a great thing to put in smoothies for people who like cool, thick drinks. They may not need as many extra sugars because they are naturally sweet. Mix an apple with its core and some of your favourite foods, like bananas or berries. Add some low-fat milk or yoghurt and maybe a pinch of honey or cinnamon. This makes a healthy drink that's great for breakfast or as a treat after a workout.

In baked goods

Do not just think of the usual sweet apple pie. Apples that have been cut up very small could be added to whole-grain muffins, oatmeal cookies, or even bread. If you really want apple pie, there are a lot of recipes for healthy versions that use whole grains and not too much sugar.


Eat everything in moderation

No matter how healthy apples are, they shouldn't be the only fruit or food you eat. You should eat them as part of a larger, more varied diet that also has a lot of other fruits, veggies, grains, and proteins. By eating a variety of foods, we make sure that our bodies get all the nutrients they need.

Make sure to wash your apples

We don't always realise how important it is to clean our food well. A good wash is very important, especially for apples, which may have waxy substances or chemical residues on them. Remove any wax with cold water and, if possible, a soft brush. This will make sure you eat the fruit in its cleanest form.

Go organic if you can

If you can afford it, you might want to buy apples that were grown in an organic way. Because they are grown without synthetic chemicals or genetically modified organisms, organic apples are often a better choice for the environment. That being said, keep in mind that "organic" does not always mean "nutrient-rich." The nutritional value of an apple is pretty much the same whether it is organic or not. The main difference is how they were grown.


How many apples should I eat a day?

While the saying goes, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", it's essential to consume a variety of fruits for a balanced diet. One apple a day can be a good start!

Can I replace my blood pressure medication with apples?

No. While apples can complement a heart-healthy diet, they should not replace any prescribed medications. Always consult with your doctor about any changes to your treatment.

Are certain types of apples better for blood pressure?

All apples contain beneficial nutrients. However, the nutrient content might vary slightly between varieties. It's best to enjoy a range of apple types to ensure you get a mix of all the beneficial compounds.


The humble apple, which is often overwhelmed by strange superfoods, has proven once again to be one of the healthiest foods out there. Many people eat these crunchy, juicy fruits all the time. They are full of heart-healthy nutrients, such as fibre, vitamins, and potassium. 

These things work together, which means they might help keep blood pressure in a safe range and improve heart health in general.

But balance and common sense are important in everything in life. Apples can be good for you if you eat them often, but they should be part of a well-balanced diet that always puts variety first. Adding other healthy habits to your life, like working out and getting regular checkups, will make the apple's effects even stronger, leading to a healthier and happier heart.


  1. Townsend N, Bhatnagar P, Wickramasinghe K, Wilkins E. Trends in the epidemiology of cardiovascular disease in the UK . Heart. 2016;102:1945-1952.
  2. Reynolds AN, Akerman AP. Dietary fibre and whole grains in diabetes management: Systematic review and meta-analyses. PLoS Medicine. 2020;17:e1003053.
  3. Hyson DA. A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health. Adv. Nutr. 2011;2:408-420.4.
  4. Grillo A, Salvi L, Coruzzi P, Salvi P. Sodium Intake and Hypertension. Nutrients. 2019;21:1970.
This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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Yihua Han

BSc Nutrition and Medical Sciences, University College London (UCL)

Yihua Han is a year 3 undergraduate student with a keen interest in the intersection of nutrition, metabolism, and pharmacology. His commitment to fostering well-being extends into his role as a Nutrition and Health Engineer in a Chinese company, where he crafted evidence-based dietary plans for diverse populations.

As a community-oriented individual, he has contributed to various initiatives, including volunteering for the British Heart Foundation, and mentoring first-year university students.

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