Ahhh…apple season is in full swing. And, with 36 states growing apples, it is fair to say that many of us have some picking to do! Taking a big bite out of a freshly-picked delicious apple has the season of Fall written all over it; and I’ve sworn to do some local apple picking this year…especially since I love having them in my protein shakes in the morning!
Although the old mantra of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is pretty ingrained, the average American consumes a mere 65 apples a year. That is barely once or twice a week, or 2 months out of the year! Seems like Americans could benefit from upping their intake. Here’s why:
- Cancer Prevention: Various studies have shown that eating apples helps prevent the development of various cancers, including: breast, lung, colon and liver cancers.
- Lung Health: Daily apple consumption helps to lower symptoms of asthma and protect against lung disease.
- Heart Health: As a result of a unique combination of phytonutrients, flavenoids and fiber, apples help support heart health and lower cholesterol. Many of these nutrients are found in the skins, so be sure to choose organic and eat the apple unpeeled.
- Memory and Aging: In a study done at Cornell University, quercetin, an ingredient found in apples, was found to potentially protect brain cells from damage that may result in Alzheimers.
- Bone Strength: Ingredients phloridzin (found only in apples) and boron help to increase bone density and strength.
And if an apple’s benefits are the least of your interest, maybe some little known facts would be:
- Top apple-producing country: China
- Top 5 apple-producing states: Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and California.
- Varieties: If you think that Granny Smith or Delicious are a couple of several varieties to choose from, think again. More than 7500 varieties of apples are grown in the world, with 2500 grown in the United States. Red Delicious is the most popular in the US and Golden Delicious is 2nd.
- Native Heritage: Of all 2,500 varieties of apples, the ONLY apple that is native to North America is the crabapple!
- Biblical Reference: Although most of us think of Eve tempting Adam with an apple, there is actually no mention of an apple as the forbidden fruit in the Bible.
Want some ideas to get your daily dose? Here are some ways to enjoy:
- In an apple-banana protein shake
- With a tablespoon of 100% all-natural peanut butter
- In yogurt with honey
- In your oatmeal
- In your salad: Mix with mixed greens, walnuts, grapes and a tablespoon of gorgonzola. Serve with EVOO olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
Do you like apples? How do you most enjoy eating them? How often do you eat them?