The second most consumed fruit after bananas, apples, are truly iconic in food culture. The old adage “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” encourages us to keep up with fruits and veggies, but in truth, apples are a real powerhouse of nutrition in a little package! They are seasonally abundant in the fall and can be interwoven tastefully at main meals, snacks, or desserts. Research even shows that apple consumption is associated with greater overall diet quality. Let’s go on and take a bite out of an apple…
Fresh, whole apples offer the most nutrients, but apples can also be juiced, dried, or pureed into a sauce. Here are a few ways that apples work their magic.
Apple - 1 medium (3" dia)
4.4 g fiber
25 g carbohydrate
0.5 g protein
19 g sugar
Belly boosting fiber
. Apples are rich in fiber, both soluble and insoluble, making up 2-3% of their composition. The soluble fiber pectin is fermented by beneficial bacteria in the colon and has been found to help prevent constipation. This process may also play a role in the prevention of chronic diseases including bowel disorders and risk for certain cancers. Try sautéing apples with cinnamon and coconut oil and topping with a dollop of coconut yogurt for a prebiotic and probiotic gut health combo!
Allergy Fighting Flavonoids.
Quercetin is a flavonoid with antioxidant properties found in apples. Quercetin stabilizes mast cells that release histamine, the principal mediator of reactions to allergies, making it a natural antihistamine. Include apples during allergy season as a boost to your body’s natural defenses! Try adding diced apple to chia seed pudding to start your day with a quercetin boost.
Blood sugar regulating properties.
The polyphenols, found in apples, are thought to prevent damage to insulin-producing cells (the hormones that signal blood sugar into the cells for energy). A study found that eating an apple a day lowers risk of type 2 diabetes by 28 percent! Snack on open faced apple slices with almond butter and cacao nibs for a blood sugar stable snack!
Brain sharpening power!
Antioxidants in apples, particularly quercetin, may sharpen memory and protect against oxidative damage that can contributes to neurological decline. A new study shows drinking apple juice may improve memory by preventing the decline of an essential neurotransmitter known as acetylcholine. Previous studies have shown that increasing the amount of acetylcholine in the brain can slow the mental decline found in people with Alzheimer's disease! Combine 1 chopped shallot, ¼ apple juice, ½ ¼ cup raw apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper for a fun fall salad dressing or drizzle!
A research study found that when a group of Finnish women consumed >71 g of raw apple per day, they experienced a 43% reduction in coronary mortality compared to women who did not eat apples. The fiber in apples has been found to have particular benefits towards lowering cholesterol, where apple juice did not have the same beneficial impact on cholesterol. Add ½ apple to your morning smoothie for a boost of heart healthy fiber!
Looking to pair some apples with your favorite Simple Mills products? Try out one of these 3 recipes:
- Grain-Free Apple Hand Pies
- Apple Bundt Cake
- Sweet Potato Apple Flatbread