Are you a fan of apples? I am. Apples are one of my favorite fruits! They are versatile, portable, inexpensive, and unlike a lot of other fruit, they store well. They also have quite a few surprising health
benefits. There’s good reason why we have the saying “An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away”. Let’s look at some of the health benefits of apples.
1st Health Benefit of Apples – Weight Loss
Apples make for a great snack that will help you lose weight. They are low in calories with only about 90 calories for a medium apple. This humble little fruit is also packed full of fiber and it includes a lot of water. Both of these help you stay fuller longer. Start having one or two apples a day, preferably before your main meals and see if you don’t start to eat less overall and start losing pounds.
2nd of the Health Benefits of Apples – Lower Risk For Heart Disease
The fiber in apples is soluble fiber. This is a great substance that will help lower cholesterol. It works the same way that bowl of oatmeal you have for breakfast per doctor’s orders. In fact, add some chopped apple and snack on another apple in the afternoon for best results.
A super easy breakfast that works well for me is place 1/4 cup of steel cut oats, 1 small apple diced up, and 1/4 tsp. of cinnamon in a deep microwave safe bowl. Mix up and pour over a non dairy milk such as almond, oat or coconut. Microwave on power level 4 for 5 minutes. Enjoy!!
3rd Health Benefit of Apples – a Key For Reducing Risk For Diabetes and Metabolic Syndrome
People who eat apples on a regular basis, have a lower risk for developing diabetes and metabolic syndrome. Part of that is due to the fact that the fiber in apples keeps us full longer and we’re less likely to gain weight – a major risk factor for both of these medical issues. The other part is phytonutrients that we don’t quite completely understand. Yet, antioxidants and other nutrients in apples seem to have a positive effect on our body and how it processes food.
4th Benefit – Apples Boost Your Immune System
This may be one of the health benefits of apples that you know about. They are packed with vitamin C which as you know helps boost your immune system and fight off infection. That’s why you’re told to take vitamin C or drink orange juice when you feel a cold coming on.
As it turns out, apples are vitamin C power houses. Eat one per day during cold and flu season to give your immune system that extra boost to make it through without getting sick.
5th Health Benefit of Apples – Reduce Cancer Risk
Apples may even help you prevent cancer. That’s pretty amazing for one little humble fruit. Apples like many other fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with antioxidants. Those little compounds attach themselves and neutralize cancer causing free radicals. The soluble fiber in apples helps keep your digestive system in order, possibly preventing the dangerous colon cancer.
Even More About Apples
Fun Fall Activity – Go Apple Picking
If you’re looking for a fun fall activity you can do with the whole family on a crisp and sunny day in September or October, try apple picking. It’s a fun way to get everyone out of the house and in the fresh air. As an added bonus, you get to come home with a big crate of apples that will last you through the coming months.
Start by finding a local apple orchard that lets you come out and pick your own apples. Depending on where you live, you may be able to find several apple farms just outside town, or you may have to take a little drive. The Pick Your Own Website is a great resource for helping you find apple orchards in your area.
Apple Varieties – What’s the dif?
When you head to your local apple orchard, or even a well-stocked grocery store, you’ll find all sorts of different and interesting apple varieties. Some are perfect for eating as is, while others lend themselves to baking, cooking with, making apple sauce and the likes. Of course some varieties store better than others. Here’s a quick overview of some of the more common varieties of apples.
Crispin’s are large apples with a yellow-green skin. With their sweet flavor, these crisp yet juicy apples are perfect for baking pies and making apple sauce.
Empires are a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious. This is a great apple that works for just about anything including baking. They are also delicious freeze well.
Gala apples are great for eating and to make apple sauce. Don’t try to bake with these apples. They tend to fall apart when you cook them.
These apples keep their shape well during baking, making them perfect for pies. They are also delicious eating apples that store well.
This is one of the most popular apples around and for good reason. They are perfect for eating raw and hold up well in pies and crisps. You may want to add a little extra sugar or honey to balance out the tart flavor of these green apples.
This is a fairly new apple variety that’s crisp and juicy. As you bite into these apples you’ll notice a light honey flavor.
This is a very old apple variety. Ida Reds keep their shape during baking and even freeze well. Perfect for using them for baking and in apple sauce.
These apples are a blend of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples. They are best eaten fresh or used in apple sauce.
Jonathan apples are anther variety that’s perfect for baking pies and cakes. They hold their shape well and have a nice crisp flavor.
This is another apple that’s best eaten fresh from the tree. They don’t hold up well to baking, but make delicious apple sauce.
Like the McIntosh apples, this is another variety that’s best used for eating.
This is a firm but sweet apple that holds up well in baking and makes a great addition to your apple sauce as well. Give these different apple varieties a try and find your own favorites for eating, storing, baking, and cooking. Of course you can mix and match, particularly when you’re making pie fillings or apple sauce.
How To Store Apples
One of my favorite things about fall is that apples are in season. While you can certainly get them year around at your local grocery store, fall is when they really come into their own. You can find the tastiest, freshest apples from September through November and you can find some great deal – particularly when you buy local or grow your own. The problem then is of course how to best store all those apples once you get them home. Here are some tips and ideas to help you make them last.
Start by checking every single apple for bruising or rot. A single rotting apple stored with the rest will cause all your apples to ripen, and then over-ripen quickly. Only healthy apples that don’t have nicks or bruises and aren’t too ripe yet should be stored. Sort out the rest and use them for eating, baking, and cooking with right away. You can also preserve those apples by turning them into apple sauce or apple pie filling and canning or freezing the finished product as needed.
Sort your apples by variety, and then by size. Larger apples will go bad faster than others and different apple varieties have different shelf lives. You want to be able to eat and use the apples that will go bad faster first. Keep the smaller apples of long lasting varieties for last and you’ll have fresh and delicious apples well into winter and even early spring. Tart, thick-skinned apples usually last the longest. Keep that in mind as you pick different apple varieties.
Don’t store your apples in plastic. Instead choose crates or baskets that allow the fruit to breath. Apples emit ethylene, a gas that helps ripen fruit. You want the air to flow around your apples and allow excess ethylene to escape otherwise your apples will ripen and rot much faster. You may have heard of this principle in action when you put an apple in a brown bag with green bananas to encourage them to ripen faster. If you’re storing apples, you want to slow down that ripening process.
Store the crates or baskets of apples in a dark, cool place. Basements are great, provided they are dry and get good air flow. Your pantry is another good option. Store your apples away from onions and potatoes for best results. If you are only storing a small amount of apples, the crisper drawer in your fridge is another good option.
Inspect your apples regularly and pick out any fruit that’s starting to rot. This will prevent all your apples from going bad. Get in the habit of inspecting your apple harvest once a week, or anytime to dig in to pick fresh apples for eating.
Wrapping up with Apples
I hope this post about the health benefits of apples helps you not only understand why you should include apples into your diet often if not daily but also gives you some help in choosing and storing them. You may be wondering why I bother talking about apples when I make and sell soaps and skin care products.
I believe with my whole heart that having great skin is a holistic effort involving self care on many levels. Your skin is a part of your whole body and it won’t look and feel good unless you do. You can read more about me on my ABOUT page and how I came to start my business with my own journey into self care.
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