Apple – A Super-food!

Soon the fresh apple season begins. What do we really know about apples? “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!” We all grew up with that phrase.

246px-Malus_Goldrenette_F._v._BerlepschWe know that apples are good for us.  More so, apples are delicious! Desserts, pies, sauces, apple snacks of all sorts satisfy any pallet. Apples are the most widely cultivated tree fruits in huge varieties among different cultures across the globe. They originated in Europe. Today, over 2,000 varieties of apples exist.

What is so Special About an Apple to be in the Super-food Category?

Thanks to the advancement of nutritional science and research, the apple is considered a little powerhouse. Here is why. To summarize, the apple:

  • Is filled with nutrients that will reduce your risk of cancer, blood pressure;  stabilize blood sugar and prevents or treats inflammatory disease.
  • Is high in antioxidants of flavonoid and polyphenol which prevent DNA damage, a cancer development.
  • Has a bounty of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, iron, potassium, copper, and Zink to add to bone strength.
  • Secretes organic acids which soothe the stomach and ease digestion when indigestion or low appetite.
  • Processes more calorie burn in our body than what the apple has; in other words it’s a negative-calorie food.

Green Apples vs. Red Apples

152x147px-GreenApple152x137Red_Apple

There is a discussion about different health benefits between green and red apples. It was cited that the green apple ranks higher in health benefits compared to the red.  The key differences discussed were:

  • Green apples have less sugar and glucose, thus the less sweet and more tart taste than red apples.  But they also have less antioxidants.
  • Red apples have more varying amounts of poly-phenols which regulate our blood sugar and prevent sugar spikes.

Overall, the nutritional properties were found in both green and red apples about the same. Both types rate high in nutrients and health benefits.

Key Benefits of Eating Whole Apples  vs. Apple Sauce or Juice

The fiber of the apple has about 50% fat-soluble pectin that has a fat lowering effect.  What is so special about the fiber in the apple compared to other fruit fibers is its interaction with other phytonutrients. This explains the cardiovascular benefits. That benefit, however, is only when eating the apple in its whole form and not as juice, apple sauce.

Scientists discovered that apples also have an impact on bacteria in the digestive tract which changes the metabolism in the large intestine, contributing to health benefits on bacterial balance in our digestive tract.

Researchers recently found that people who eat a whole apple compared to applesauce or apple juice report less hunger (and better satiety, or food satisfaction) and on the average ate 60 calories/day less when eating a medium apple approx. 15 min. before a meal.

Should We Eat One Apple a Day?

If only a minimal variety of other fruits is available, then an apple a day is highly beneficial.  For instance, when I grew up during and after WWII in Germany, during the winter, the only fresh fruit available was the apple. My mother would store them in the basement during the winter next to a pile of potatoes. This was our winter staple.

But given the variety of fruits available and the nutritional uniqueness of each type, it is recommended that we eat at least 2-3 whole fresh fruits per day or 2-3 cups’ worth and preferably include apples.

A Few Quick Ideas for Enjoying Fresh Apples

  1. Apple slices with peanut butter or almond butter – my grandchildren love as a snack;  to spice it up a bit more, add some cinnamon to taste and dip in granola.
  2. Don’t forget to put an apple into a smoothie – it counts as a raw whole apple because it is only chopped with its fiber pulp included.
  3. How about a 10-Minute Apple Sundae suggested in The Worlds Healthiest Foods :

Prep and Cook Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients:

2 apples
2 TBS almond butter
¼ cup maple syrup
1½ tsp almond extract
2 TBS sliced almonds
2 TBS grated coconut

Directions:

Coarsely chop almonds and set aside for topping.
In a small mixing bowl, blend the almond butter, maple syrup, and almond extract until smooth. It should be the consistency of caramel sauce.
Cut the apples into quarters and core. Then cut the quarters into 3 pieces lengthwise and ¼-inch pieces crosswise. Place in two serving bowls.
Drizzle the sauce over the two bowls of apples and top with almonds and coconut.
Serves 2

To top it off:  look up the recipe of No-Bake Apple Walnut Tart
appletartIt is delicious and highly nutritious!

I hope you will enjoy a delicious, crisp and fresh apple even more with the awareness that it is a super-food our body will thank you for!

Best Health!!

Key Source: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?dbid=15&tname=foodspice

 

 

About Ute Goldkuhle

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