You’ve no doubt heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but did you know that there really is some truth to that well-known expression?
A medium apple has just 95 calories, but packs in 4.4 grams of fiber, which can help you feel fuller longer. Apples also provide sources of potassium, vitamin C, vitamin A and folate. They’re rich in polyphenols as well, which function as antioxidants that can help protect against heart disease and some cancers. To get the most out of apples’ antioxidants benefits, be sure to leave the skin on. Many of the compounds that make apples such a great pick are concentrated in the skin.
You can find apples year-round, but in the fall they’re at their peak in-season splendor. Apples are great on their own, but are also a tasty addition to many dishes. Enjoy them in Mindful’s Dijon Turkey Burger with Apple Chutney, Johnny Appleseed Whole Wheat Pancakes,or Apple Cobbler with Cinnamon Biscuit. If you’re heading out for a day of apple picking, stock up on local varieties. Or grab a bunch at your market so you can savor them at home in a variety of dishes.
A Fruit for Any Time of Day
In the morning, diced apples and a dash of cinnamon can help perk up your oatmeal. You can also top off low-fat yogurt with sliced apples and honey for a tasty parfait.
Apples make a satisfying afternoon snack when paired with any type of nut butter, and offer a surprising, crunchy addition to green salads, sandwiches or chicken salad.
For dinner, try slicing an apple thinly and sautéing until soft to compliment your favorite chicken or pork dish. Cored, baked apples with just a sprinkle of brown sugar and cinnamon make an easy after-dinner treat as the temperatures start to drop.
Pick a Peck
When it comes to picking apples, there are 100 commercial varieties in the U.S. and many more heirloom varietals. Crisp, tart apples, like Granny Smith and McIntosh, are ideal for salads and baking. Sweeter varieties, including Red Delicious and Gala, are great for snacking. Whatever kind of apple you choose, you can feel good knowing you’re making a healthy choice.