What's full of fiber, free of fat and even doubles as a natural breath freshener?
Answer: The apple! Though it takes more than an "apple a day to keep the doctor away", this fruit can be a boon to any healthy eating plan.
Apples, like most fruits, are naturally free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.
Plus, the fiber in apples may help lower blood cholesterol, control blood sugar and assist with weight loss. It may even help to prevent certain types of cancer. As an added bonus, apples are easy to carry around for snacking.
Choosing and storing apples
There are hundreds of different types of apples from McIntosh and Rome, to Galas and Granny's. They range from sweet and tart to crispy and crunchy. Some are better for baking, some for snacking and most are wonderful for both. As a rule, choose apples that feel hard and don't dent when you press your finger against them. Be sure you do this with larger apples because they are more likely to be overripe. In addition:
- Keep apples in your refrigerator to keep them crisp. If left out, they will become soft quickly. They can keep in the refrigerator for up to six weeks.
- It's best not to put apples in the same bin as vegetables. However, if you have to, be sure to keep them in a plastic bag. Apples can make vegetables ripen faster, make carrots bitter, turn cucumbers yellow and add brown spots to lettuce.
An apple a day
Apples can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Aside from the delight of biting into a fresh juicy apple, consider these ideas:
- Chop and toss them into a green salad along with a handful of walnuts.
- Dice them fresh and add to smoothies.
- Dip sliced apples into a tablespoon of natural peanut butter.
- Cut a hole through the top; add vanilla, crushed almonds, cinnamon and nutmeg, and bake whole for one hour at 350 degrees F.
- Bake into pies and crisps.
If you want to prevent apples from turning brown after cutting, squeeze a little fresh lemon juice on them.
A few fun facts
Odds are you may not know the following about this popular fruit.
- Each American eats approximately 19.6 pounds of fresh apples annually.
- Apples are grown in all 50 states.
- Apples are a member of the rose family.
- Apples are available year-round.
- The most popular variety in the U.S. is the Red Delicious.
- There are more than 7,000 varieties of apples grown in the world.
- The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.
Apple nutrition facts
|(One medium, fresh,
raw, with skin) Calories:
|Vitamin C:||8 mg|
|Vitamin A:||73 IU|
Created on 09/21/2006
Updated on 06/30/2010
- University of Illinois Extension. Apples and more.