I’m sure that you’ve heard the saying, “An apple a day keep the doctor away”. It’s said that this saying came about sometime in the 1800’s. Apples are not just a snack for work or school. Apples contain many vital vitamins and minerals the body needs.
It was only 3 years ago, when I picked my own apples for the first time. It was pretty special because it was a multi-generational event. My mom, my groom and I our kids picked apples together. None of us had ever picked an apple before. It was a pretty special. It’s always been important to me for the kids to know where food doesn’t just appear in the grocery store. I want them to know where food really comes from and the health benefits of food. According to this website, there are over 2,500 varieties of apples that are grown in the United States and 7,500 grown worldwide. Only 100 of those varieties of which are grown commercially in the United States. Now that’s a lot of apples! But no matter which apples you choose, here are some important health benefits of apples that you should know.
One apple is low in calories at eighty one calories per average apple. The apple is a good source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. Apples also contain potassium, magnesium, iron, manganese, copper, and phosphorus.
One apple contains about 18 grams of natural sugar. This natural sugar provides a natural energy boost and is a great alternative to snack foods like chips and cookies which provide empty calories. And even though apples contain sugar, because they’re also a good source of fiber, the sugar will not cause blood sugar spikes. Apples also provide carbohydrates as a source of energy for the body. One average sized apple, fruit has twenty one grams of carbohydrates.
Apples contain fiber and compounds called flavonoids that help to keep us healthy. One medium apple has about three grams of fiber. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber making them a great source for fiber in the diet. An apple even provides fiber without its peel just not as much. That’s one of the reasons I always recommend to buy organic apples and to keep the apple peel!
This fiber can help to lower cholesterol levels in the body. High fiber foods such as apples can help to prevent diseases such as heart disease. Pectin, a complex carbohydrate compound can help to lower the level of toxic metals in the body.
Fiber in apples can help to lessen the symptoms of constipation and promote proper functioning of the bowels. Apples can help people who suffer from diarrhea.
Flavonoids in the apple have been shown to help reduce heart disease. Studies have shown that people who eat foods containing flavonoids such as apples, have a lower risk of developing heart disease. Vitamin C in the fruit helps boost the immune system of the body. Apple juice has also been ranked as the fruit juice highest in antioxidants which help protect the cells from damage.
Natural fructose sugar in the apples help stabilize blood sugar levels in the body. Even though this sugar is simple, it combines with the apple fiber and is broken down slowly which helps avoid blood sugar spikes.
More to Know
The apple tree originated in Eastern Europe and there are over seven thousand different varieties of apples grown today. When buying apples you should buy fruit that is firm and free of soft or brown spots.
Fresh apples are better for you then store bought juice. If buying apple juice look for organic and cloudy types or pressed juice.
Pressed apple juice is less processed then normal apple juice. Fresh ripe apples will offer the most antioxidant protection for the body.
Apples can be eaten raw, cut up for salads, or cooked with other foods and recipes like my skinny mini apple pie. Add lemon juice to sliced apples to prevent the browning that occurs.
Add apples to your diet and enjoy all the nutritional benefits they can provide for you and your family. An apple a day really does help keep the doctor away.
Here are some delicious apple recipes that you may want to try.