I have been on a favorite fall foods kick lately and it would be a shame to not include one of the greatest fall harvest health foods around. Apples! I know they are available year around, but apples truly come into their own in the fall. This is when they are at their most delicious. So, this is the time to take advantage of the wide selection of apples available. Now is the time to try some different varieties that you may not have had before. That’s what I do! There are so many different ones out there ranging from red to yellow to green, crunchy to tender, sweet to tart and simple to complex. And let’s not even talk about the fabulous pies and apples crumbles you can make. Yum!
Along with all of the deliciousness that are apples, they also contain a wide variety of phytochemicals which have been found to have strong antioxidant activity. They are really high in quercetin which is an antioxidant. Studies have shown that the consumption of apples is linked with the reduced risk of some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, diabetes and obesity. Fantastic!
And get this, not only can eating an apple a day help keep the doctor away, it just might help to melt the pounds away too! Studies have also shown that adding apples to the diet can enhance weight loss. I know I love that! Be sure to eat the skin to get all of those great phytochemicals. Go for whole, organic apples rather than applesauce or apple juice.
Did you know that apples can do great things for your cholesterol? Apples are a great source of pectin which is a type of soluble fiber that is found in plant cell walls and tissues. Soluble fibers, like pectin, work to lower cholesterol by reducing the amount that is absorbed in the intestines. Research has also shown that apples can improve your intestinal health by multiplying the numbers of good bacteria in the gut which feed on apple pectin.
The great thing about apples is that they are so portable and make a great healthy snack to take just about anywhere. At home, my favorite thing to do is to bake them and then sprinkle with a little Ceylon cinnamon (CLICK HERE to read about Ceylon cinnamon and your health) for an easy dessert. Like smoothies? Add some apple into a green smoothie. Yum!
Some great places to go on the hunt for new varieties to try are: local organic apple growers, farm stands, and farmers markets. You may notice that when you shop at these places that the apples will not always look like the perfect gems you see in your local grocery store. If so, that’s great because the more imperfect they look the better they tend to taste. Happy apple hunting! To your good health!