What’s your typical “go-to” fruit? Mine is the juicy, scrumptious apple. In fact, I could go for one right now. On a whole-fruit basis, apples are the 2nd most consumed fruit in America. I bet you want to know what’s in 1st place. Bananas! I’m just as surprised as you are. They’re both similar in dietary fibers so I’m going to cut the banana some slack here. After apples, bananas are my 2nd choice of fruit. Regardless of whatever your favorite fruit is, just make sure you’re receiving the daily recommended servings of about 2 cups.
Apples are packed with so many incredible nutrients. These nutrients can be found both in the skin and the inner flesh. So, please…..whatever you do, don’t peel the apple beforehand. When you throw away the apple peel, you’re getting rid of all those wonderful nutrients the body needs. Okay, I digress. I know someone people just can’t eat the skin. And that is perfectly fine. (no judgment here)
One apple can provide up to 5 grams of fiber. Fiber slows down digestion so you feel full. This fiber rich food will have you feeling full after eating just one apple. If you’re looking to achieve your ideal weight real soon, add apples to your game plan. Eat a few apple slices before a meal and you will feel fuller. As a result of feeling full, you will consume fewer calories. (Yay) Also, an apple’s fiber can help with diarrhea, constipation, and control symptoms of acid reflux. This nutritional powerhouse fruit provides plentiful anti-inflammatory compounds that lowers the risk of heart disease. Do you need to lower your cholesterol? With frequent apple consumption, you’ll be on track to lowering your cholesterol.
Each time you eat an apple, you’re receiving a healthy dose of vitamin C to boost your immune system. This natural antioxidant raises the body’s resistance against free radicals. Too many free radicals can lead to cell damage by feeding on the strong healthy cells. Vitamin C rich foods protects healthy cells and lowers your risk of illness. Vitamin C is vital to collagen development and supports bone and muscle health. It’s been said if you want to receive the most vitamin C from an apple, it’s best to eat one straight from the apple tree. After an apple has been picked, the vitamin C level will begin to drop over time.
Some other vitamins in apples are B-complex vitamins (for strong nervous system) and vitamin K (make proteins).
Potassium is the main mineral in apples. Potassium plays the role of keeping a normal heartbeat and muscles functioning properly. It’s the kidney’s job to regulate potassium. Too much or too little potassium can cause heart issues.
Other minerals that can be found in apples are calcium (for bone strength) and phosphorus (filters waste).
Both the apple’s skin and the inner flesh contain polyphenols which is an organic compound that has antioxidant effects. Many believe polyphenols improve digestion, helps weight management, enhance brain function, and promote healthy blood sugar levels. Some research has shown polyphenols can aid prevention in various chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers, and neurodegenerative diseases.
The prebiotics found in apples feed good gut bacteria. A prebiotic is a type of fiber that passes through the GI tract undigested. When the prebiotics hit the large intestine, it stimulates the growth of good bacteria. And healthy gut bacteria is essential to digestion and weight control.
Is there anything apples can’t do? (lol) It’s a little hard to find something negative to say about this longtime beloved fruit. Apples are cholesterol free, fat free, and sodium free. My personal goal is to consume at least 3 or 4 apples on a weekly basis.
Apples come in a variety of shapes, colors, and flavors. Apple connoisseurs like to divulge in talks about “crisp” versus “crunchy” or “bold” versus “hint of tartness”.
Here’s a list of apple varieties you may find in your local supermarket.
Fuji (place of origin: Japan) / flavor – crunchy & sweet
Gala (place of origin: New Zealand) / flavor – crisp & aromatically sweet *my favorite apple*
Gold Delicious (place of origin: West Virginia, USA) / flavor – crunchy & sweet
Granny Smith (place of origin: Australia) / flavor – crunchy & tart
Honey Crisp (place of origin: Minnesota, USA) / flavor – crisp & sweet
McIntosh (place of origin: Ontario, Canada) / flavor – crisp & sweet
Pink Lady (place of origin: Australia) / flavor – crisp & tart
Red Delicious (place of origin: Iowa, USA) / flavor – crunchy & mildly sweet
Rome (place of origin: Ohio, USA) / flavor – crunchy & mildly sweet
(Given the unusual diversity of apple varieties, I did not provide an exhausted list. )
On your next grocery store visit, don’t forget to add apples to the list. Eating an apple a day will lower your risk from many body ailments.
Fun Fact: Currently, China is ranked as the #1 apple-producing country. United States of America comes in 2nd place.