Apples are available worldwide and are the second highest consumed fruit in the world. The ease of availability and the ease of eating make apples a great fruit choice. No utensils necessary. Apples can be referred to as the “body’s broom” because the cleansing effect of apple fiber. But apples go beyond just cleansing and are full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
Apples are easy to transport you can carry an apple easily in your hand, purse, or backpack but the benefits continue beyond this. Apples taste great and are good for your body!
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples may help reduce the risk of cancer, obesity, heart disease and diabetes.
Apples are loaded with Vitamin C. Vitamin C is great for your immune systems and help prevent infections. The most vitamin c can be found in the apple peel, so eat the skin.
Apples can boost brain health. The antioxidant quercetin found in apples helps brain neurons survive and function.
Apples help you fight infections. Apple pulp and skin have been shown to destroy some viruses.
Apples are loaded with fiber. Fiber not only makes your digestion/elimination system work well it also helps keep you feeling full so you don’t overeat. This can benefit managing your weight.
The pectin found in apples is a soluble fiber which has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol and help prevent constipation and/or diarrhea. When 30 French men and women added 2-3 apples to their daily diet for a month. 4 out of 5 participants had a drop in cholesterol.
Apples are a good source of potassium. Potassium is a mineral that is important for good health. Adequate potassium reduces your risk for high blood pressure.
Types of Common Apple Varieties
There are new apple varieties being created all the time. Apple growers like to experiment. Apples can be found in a wide variety of shapes, colors, and flavors. Here are some of the more common varieties you can find at the grocery:
- Red Delicious – A bright red apple that is juicy and crisp.
- McIntosh – A tender red apple with a tangy flavor.
- Fuji – A yellow and red apple that is sweet and firm.
- Granny Smith – A green apple with a sharp flavor that remains firm when cooked.
- Golden Delicious – A yellow apple with a mild sweet flavor.
Apples are subject to bugs and disease, so farmers often use pesticides on their apple trees. All apples are generally high in pesticide residues. Many of the health benefits of apples are in the skin, so eating them after removing the skin is not ideal.
ALWAYS wash apples before consuming to remove harmful pesticide residue. Washing with running water is best. You can use a produce brush if desired. According to the FDA water is effective for removing bacteria and pesticides. You can use a baking soda wash if you desire. 1 tsp baking soda to 2 cups of water. Soak fruit for 10-15 minutes and then rinse in running water.
Organic apples may be a better option but organic apples still must be washed before eating.
That old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is not far from the truth. Stop in at your nearest U-Pick orchard or pick up your own bag of apples from the grocery and make them a healthy part of your weekly nutrition plan. Apples ARE good for your health!