Apple season in the Midwest means apple everything. Apples for baking and snacking, apple cider and of course, America’s favorite – apple pie. But there’s much more to apples than what meets the eye. So let’s get to the core about the goodness of apples.
Acknowledging the health benefits of apples
Apples are loaded with vitamins including C, K, B6 and riboflavin, as well as the minerals copper, magnesium, manganese and potassium. This translates to a boatload of benefits. Apples of all sorts:
- reduce risks of cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension.
- help prevent dementia and stroke.
- lower bad (LDL) cholesterol.
- promote good gut bacteria (Granny Smiths are rated best!).
- combat anemia.
- provide fiber (especially with skin on), which supports healthy digestion.
- improve vision.
- provide quercetin, which alleviates asthma symptoms.
- help alkalinize your pH, reducing acid reflux (sweet apples are better).
An old go-to that’s regained the spotlight, apple cider vinegar also helps improve immunity and promote gut healing, while regulating cravings and blood sugar spikes. Be sure to buy an organic raw version for the true health benefits.
Reviewing the science of eating an apple
Keep the peels on your apples whenever possible, because that’s where most of the nutrients live. But avoid the seeds as they can be toxic.
Watch for any symptoms in your mouth, face, face, nose, lungs and intestines after eating apples because they can cause allergic reactions. If the reaction is not severe, try eating them without the peel or cooked to see if your body still rejects them.
Or, if the apples are not organic, you might be reacting to the pesticides instead of the apple itself. Organic apples won’t look as shiny and waxy but will be much friendlier to your body!
Sorting out the many types of apples
We can find more than 7,500 types of apples grown throughout the world, according to University of Illinois (GO Illini!) data. But use this list of popular apples to decide which variety is best for your latest apple hankering.
|Sweet||Cameo, Fuji, Gala|
|Tart||Cortland, Granny Smith, Jonagold|
|Baking||Braeburn, Empire, Golden Delicious|
|Snacking||Braeburn, Cameo, Fuji, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Red Delicious|
|Crunchy||Gala, Granny Smith, Jonagold (yes sweet and tart!)|
|(Not-so crunchy) sauce/butter/juice||Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp, McIntosh|
|Anything apples||Cortland, Fuji, Gala, Jonagold|
Reformed favorites: recipes using apples
Eating better doesn’t mean you have to give up the traditional fun. Try making your next apple endeavor healthier and festive with modified versions of apple Waldorf salad, apple pie or apple cider – I can’t wait!
Creative ways to add apples to your diet
If it’s out-of-the-box ideas you need to make apples more appealing, try:
- adding sliced, crunchy apples to a chopped salad, Brussels sprouts or kale salad, sandwich, quesadilla or smoothie.
- coring and slicing whole apples thin, using the slices for bread (think PB&J on apples)!
- grilling apples (with cinnamon for a dessert).
- roasting cored apples filled with your favorite goodies (raisins, caramel, etc.).
- making a veggie-based soup with apples (like pumpkin or carrots with apples).
- creating paleo apple cinnamon ice cream using frozen bananas – YUM!
Make this apple season your healthiest yet, by adding these nutritional gems to your diet more often. Get creative with some old favorites and new ones. Fight fall allergies, ward off disease and feed your digestive health with your own apple extravaganza!
*This blog is intended for use as a source of information and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care or advice.