Every season, the produce department bins are filled with a variety of crisp, juicy apples. There’s nothing quite like the crunch of an apple eaten out of hand or the aroma of baked cinnamon apples fresh from the oven. Apples taste great, please the eye with their red and gold beauty, and provide healthy benefits that give us the “apples” in our cheeks.
It’s true what your mother told you: Studies show that an apple a day really can help keep the doctor away by reducing your risk of disease. Apples are a nutritional gift wrapped in an edible package. They are fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie and an excellent source of fiber. One medium apple is only 60 to 80 calories, depending on the variety.
Extra health benefits
Experts say that an apple’s phytochemicals (nutrients that come from plants) may play an important role in fighting disease. Apples are high in a phytochemical called quercetin that may reduce your risk for asthma, lung cancer and heart disease. Be sure to eat the peel! About two-thirds of the fiber is found in the peel.
A weighty subject
Eating apples and other high-fiber fruit may help you lose weight. Apples are low in calories but high in fiber, which slows down the rate at which apples’ natural sugar is released into your bloodstream.
The fiber in apples helps you stay full longer and keeps your blood sugar levels steady. Think of it this way: You can eat one apple or two teaspoons of butter for about the same amount of calories. Which one do you think will give you the most satisfaction? And which one gives you the most health benefits?
Here’s a guide to the best ways to use some of the most popular apples in America (not all of these apples are available in all geographic locations).
- Snacking: Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, McIntosh, Red Delicious
- Salads: Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Red Delicious
- Pies: Golden Delicious, Granny Smith
- Sauces: Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith
- Baking: Golden Delicious, Granny Smith
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