You’ve probably heard the saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but you might now know why that is.
Apples are a great source of antioxidants, dietary fiber, and flavonoids, and eating them is associated with decreased risk of obesity and disease.1 Get ready to learn a few of the top reasons why you should add this tasty fruit to any meal in your day.
Why An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Apples have been listed in Medical News Today’s Top 10 Healthiest Foods. Here’s a glance at why they made the list (and why you should add them to your diet):
1. Dietary Fiber Helps You Control Your Hunger & Weight
One medium apple contains about 95 calories (depending on the type), and 4.4 grams of dietary fiber.
Are you interested in losing some weight? Grab an apple for an afternoon snack. The combination of water and fiber works to keep you satisfied until your next meal for a relatively small amount of calories. As an added bonus, dietary fiber also “sweeps” your intestines, which helps keep you regular.
The fiber in apples also feeds the good bacteria in your gut. Having the right balance of gut bacteria is important for your weight, appetite regulation, and overall health.2
If you want to eat the best apple for your gut, then grab a green granny smith apple.
2. Decrease Your Cholesterol With A Daily Apple
Apples contain two substances that boost lipid metabolism and could significantly help decrease your LDL cholesterol – pectin and polyphenols. These nutrients also reduce the production of molecules that contribute to inflammation.3
What that all means is that regularly eating an apple may lower your cholesterol levels and decrease your risk of cancer, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related diseases.
3. Apples Contain Strong Antioxidants That Improve Your Health.
Apples contain a handful of incredible phytochemicals – specifically, quercetin, catechin, phloridzin, and chlorogenic acid, all of which are potent antioxidants that combat free radicals and prevent inflammatory damage.
Apples also provide an antioxidant called flavonoids. These antioxidants can help decrease your blood pressure, lower your risk of stroke, and prevent heart disease.4
Some might go so far as to call apples a “miracle food”. Considering all of these benefits, I don’t think that description is far from the truth.
How To Choose The Best Apples
Apples are on the dirty dozen list of produce that you should absolutely buy organic. Choose apples that are firm and unbruised. That said, don’t overlook an apple just because it’s ugly! Organic fruit doesn’t always look shiny and perfect, and often times the “ugly” apples actually taste the best.
When it comes to the specific type of apple, that’s a matter of preference. There are red, green, yellow, and multi-colored apples which all taste different. Some are more sweet, others more tart. Try them all to find out which ones you like best.
For apples with incredible flavor, I would recommend choosing apples that are season (and, if possible) local. Take a trip to your local farmer’s market, try some samples, and buy your favorites.
Ideas On How To Add Apples To Your Diet
Apples can be enjoyed in sweet or savory dishes, and can be added to just about any meal. Check out these ideas, and try one (or all!) of them out:
Breakfast: Chop an apple into a bowl of Greek yogurt or oatmeal, and add some almonds and a dash of cinnamon.
Lunch: Add thin apple slices to your afternoon salad.
Snacks: Simply eat an apple! For a more substantial snack, enjoy it with a spoon or two of all-natural peanut butter.
Dinner: Pan-sear some chicken sausages with quartered apples and onions for a German-inspired dinner.
Dessert: Core and bake apples with honey and cinnamon.
My favorite way to enjoy an apple is simply to eat it whole. I often travel with an apple in my bag whenever I’m on a flight, and know I can find this crunchy fruit just about anywhere when I’m in a bind.
What’s your favorite way to eat apples? Have any creative recipes?
- Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC442131/. Accessed December 14, 2016. ↩
- Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3983973/. Accessed December 14, 2016. ↩
- Available at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/222422.php. Accessed December 14, 2016. ↩
- Majewska-wierzbicka M, Czeczot H. Flavonoids in the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular diseases. Pol Merkur Lekarski. 2012;32(187):50-4. ↩