Food 101: Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” There is a reason this expression is so well known. Apples are packed full of nutrients that contribute to a maintaining a clean bill of health! Powerful polyphenols, antioxidants and other nutritional components of apples show benefits in blood sugar regulation and cardiovascular health with possible anti-cancer and anti-asthma effects.

Apples are a crisp white-fleshed fruit with a thin outer skin ranging in colors of yellow, green, red and pink with over 7000 varieties of apples available in the market today. Every crunchy bite of an apple releases sweet and tart juice from the flesh, making it a refreshing snack to enjoy at any point of the day. And guess what? Fresh apples are abundant and in season right now so take advantage by picking your own at a local orchard or visiting the famers market (Click Here for information on Edmotons Farmers Markets) to pick up a basket that has been recently harvested! One convenient aspect of this fruit is that they last a relatively long period of time between 3-4 months stored at refrigerator temperatures. Traditionally, this is the reason why apples were the main nourishment that was acquired from fruit during winter months. Keep in mind that one bad apple can spoil the bunch! If you are storing your apples in bulk be sure to remove the damaged or already softening apples from the rest, as the overproduction of ethylene gas from these bad apples will decrease the shelf life of surrounding fruit.

Why is it Healthy?

One medium apple contains:

  • 4.5 grams of dietary fibre
  • Almost 15% of your daily intake of vitamin C
  • Is a low glycemic choice for a quick snack!

Research studies done thus far have shown us that apples contain a significant array of antioxidants and phytonutrients which have shown to benefit to the following areas:

    • Phytonutrients like catechin and epicatchin in apples have been inversely associated with coronary heart disease mortality
    • The antioxidant activity in apples (especially the peels) has shown to have a potent anti-proliferative effect, inhibiting the growth of cancer cells in the colon and liver
    • Apple phenolics may reduce lipid peroxidation in the blood reducing cardiovascular complications
    • The combination of apple pectin and polyphenols in a whole- consumed apple have shown to lower blood cholesterol and cholesterol absorption in the gut to a much greater extent than either apple pectin or apple polyphenols alone. It is better to choose the whole fruit rather than supplement with modified extracts or dietary supplements!

Including apples in your diet

Different apple varieties do contain different degrees of nutrients, polyphenols and antioxidants. One thing that is for sure is that most of these nutrients reside within the skin of an apple. So when a recipe calls for peeled apples, think about leaving the skin on anyway in an effort to retain the most nutrition! Some apples are more suitable for baking, or pureeing into applesauce. For making dehydrated apple chips try Lady Pink, Golden delicious, or Gala apples. Applesauce works well with McIntosh, Fuji, and Cortland. For baking try Granny Smith, McIntosh and Jonagolds and Honeycrisp apples.

Recipe Ideas:

  • Homemade apple sauce
  • Apple and pumpkin crumble
  • Spinach salad with apple and feta (from this months newsletter)
  • Spiced baked apple chips
  • Cinnamon apple Chips
  • Homemade apple pie
  • Apple pork loin
  • Apple and grilled chicken
  • red cabbage and apple slaw

Did you know that…

When an individual eats the whole apples versus eating applesauce or apple juice, there is increased food satisfaction from the whole fruit. This means a more satiating snack and happier stomach until your next meal!

September 1, 2014
Revive Wellness