Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

An Apple a Day!

on October 7, 2011

 

We’ve all heard “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but what does it really mean?  Is it just an old wives tale or a cute phrase?

NO- it’s true.  Apples are super healthy so eating one a day in place of your usual snack or dessert really can help you to feel better and perhaps avoid trips to the doctor.

With so many varieties of apples available, you can experiment until you find one that you like. This versatile fruit is a healthy snack, tasty dessert or salad filler to help you achieve maximum health benefits of apples.  My usual apple is braeburn, but this time of year it is most definitely honeycrisp.  Here is more than you need to know about honeycrisp apples, but since  Minnesotans can’t brag about their sports teams, we’ll give props to their apple breeding abilities:

Honeycrisp was produced from a 1960 cross of Macoun and Honeygold, as part of the University of Minnesota apple breeding program to develop winter hardy cultivars with high fruit quality. The original seedling was planted in 1962 at the University of Minnesota Horticultural Research Center, located near Excelsior in east central Minnesota. It was selected in September 1974 and evaluated as MN 1711 at locations in Excelsior, Morris and Grand Rapids, Minnesota, and at Geneva, New York.

Mmmmm...honeycrisp apples!

Why Apples?

 

Apples have long been considered a food that promotes good health and fat loss,  but that’s just tip of the iceberg of the health benefits of apples. Looking at apple nutrition facts it’s clear why this fruit is highly sought after by dieters worldwide.

 

One apple has just 95 calories, making it the perfect low-calorie snack when a craving strikes. With zero fat & cholesterol, and very little sodium you can see why an apple a day has become so popular. Although not as high in fiber as some other foods, the high fiber count in apples gives them much of their fat-burning properties.

 

Many crucial vitamins are found in relatively large numbers in just one apples, including vitamins C, K and B6. These vitamins are important for normal human functioning that promotes good health, which we know has a positive effect on fat burning.

 

Potassium is yet another nutrient that increases the health benefits of apples, with 195 mg found inside a medium apple.

 

Health Benefits of Apples

 

Because apples have long been considered a food that promotes good health, more research has been done to find out just how beneficial apples are to ideal health.

 

There are many antioxidants in apples that block absorption of harmful free radicals that can age you prematurely and cause disease. The polyphenols responsible for the antioxidant benefits of apples also help reduce artery clogging than can lead to heart health problems. These same anti-inflammatory properties are why apples help reduce asthma-related swelling.

 

The fiber content also improves the heart health benefits of apples, which has been known to reduce bad cholesterol. By literally eating “an apple a day,” you can reduce the risk of many cardiovascular problems that include heart disease and stroke.

 

New research indicates that apples have an amazing ability to fight several types of cancer, but the lung cancer results have been especially promising.

Thanks to fastfittips for all this great information on apples- who knew something so tasty and versatile could be good for you in so many ways? 

One problem with the apple…we tend to cover it in pastry or load it with sugar.  I love apple pie, but just because there are apples in it doesn’t mean it’s healthy!  In fact, one slice of apple pie can have as many as 750 calories and 30 grams of fat.  The big culprit here is the crust.   If you simply must have an apple dessert, try this:

Apple Crisp

Ingredients

3 medium baking apples, cored, sliced thin

      1 tsp cinnamon
      2 Tbsp sugar
      2 Tbsp flour

Topping:

      1 cup quick oats
      1 tsp vanilla
      1/2 tsp cinnamon
      1/4 cup brown sugar
      2 Tbsp heart-healthy margarine
      Directions:

 

Mix first four ingredients and place into 9-inch (square or round) baking dish. In small bowl, mix Topping ingredients until crumbly. Sprinkle topping over the apples.

Bake at 325 degrees until apples are soft and topping is golden brown (about 30 minutes).

Per serving: 131 calories and 3. grams of fat.  Here’s the catch- this recipe serves 9 so a serving size isn’t very big.  It’s all about portion control! 
 

This is more than one serving but it is a "normal" serving for most of us!

 
Remember…an apple a day keeps the doctor away and also keeps ugly fat at bay. 

 

 

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