It’s that time of the year where apples start popping up everywhere!
So, is what they say really true? Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Let’s take a look…
All About the Apple
Apples come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and taste profiles. They are available year round and can be used in many different ways.
According to research, men who eat one apple a day lower their risk of heart attack by 32%, and studies suggest that its components are essential for optimal growth, development, and overall wellness. Epidemiological studies have also linked the consumption of apples with reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes, and some cancer.
Apples are low in calories, with 1/2 cup of fresh slices being just 50 calories. Apples contain no saturated fat or cholesterol, and they are an excellent source of dietary fiber (5g per apple). The fiber that apples contain is soluble fiber, which has been shown to:
- Lower LDL (bad) cholesterol
- Help regulate blood sugars
- Help detoxify the digestive tract
- Considered natures antihistamine
- Reduce risk of cardiovascular disease
- Bind to cancer causing chemicals and removes them from the body
Two-thirds of fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel, so don’t peel your apples!
Apples also have one the highest concentration of antioxidants (second to berries), which help to protect cells and fight disease.
They also contain high levels of vitamin C which supports the immune system, reduces risk of infection, and removes free radicals from the body.
Other vitamins and minerals found in apples are riboflavin, thiamin, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), potassium, phosphorous, calcium, and boron. These vitamins and minerals provide:
- bone building properties
- can prevent osteoporosis
- support cell and body fluids
- control heart rate and blood pressure
Another fun apple fact is that eating fresh apple slices can help relieve constipation, and applesauce can help to relieve diarrhea!
So what’s the verdict?
Given the impressive nutritional resume of the apple, I’d say that they are an excellent part of a healthy diet and can help to prevent disease and other health issues.
However, there are a few conditions to making sure apples are helping you fight disease, and not contributing to it…
Apples are a part of the “Dirty Dozen”, meaning they are one of the most heavily treated with pesticides and other chemicals. They can also be coated with wax to make them appear shiny, yuck!
Here are some tips to make sure you’re choosing your apples correctly and storing them properly:
- Opt for organic apples to ensure they are not laden with chemicals, pesticides, or wax
- Choose fresh, bright, firm textured apples with rich flavor
- Opt for the apples smaller in size, to avoid excess and unnecessary sugars and carbohydrates
- Avoid fruits with pressure marks over their surface as they indicate underlying mottled pulp
- Apples ripen 6 to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated
- Fresh apples can be kept at room temperature for few days and stored inside the refrigerator for up to two to three weeks
- Wash them in clean running cold water before use
Here are some creative recipes to try incorporating apples in a new way:
Pumpkin Yogurt Dip, served with apples
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