I recently wrote a post about my love of beans and their amazing health benefits. I received a lot of excellent feedback from vegetarians and meat-lovers alike. Encouraged by such kind words, I now will add apples to my long list of nutritious foods you should eat...daily!
I read recently that the average American eats about one apple a week. Now, given the poor and sometimes unhealthy, eating habits of most people, I was actually happily surprised by this statistic. But the article went on to state that for the maximum benefits of apple eating, you should eat at least one a DAY. Guess what? I do. I have been eating apples, daily, for so long I honestly cannot recall the last time I did not eat one. Wow, that's a lot of apples!
The good news is twofold: One, there are countless varieties of apples, from sweet to sour, crisp to soft, spicy to mellow. You have your red and golden delicious, granny smith, gala, fuji, braeburn, honeycrisp, Macintosh, cameo, pacific rose, rome, jonagold, the list is endless, the myriad flavors countless.
Do you know that apples have been around for thousands of years? The apple tree is one of, if not the, earliest tree to be cultivated. Apples made their way to North America in the 1600s, and we have been eating them in this country ever since. Now about the second wonderful thing about apples: their amazing health benefits.
Apples have been linked to helping lower cholesterol, improve bowel function (one apple has around 5 grams of fiber, and you know how I feel about fiber!), reduce the risk of prostrate cancer, stroke, diabetes and heart disease. There have also been studies that claim apples can improve lung health and help prevent strokes. One a day? I think I may have to up that to two a day!
As I mentioned earlier, apples are loaded with fiber, they also contain no fat, and have only around 100-120 calories. Besides vitamins A and C, you will also get some calcium, iron, and potassium from eating apples. Back to the fiber, one of my favorite health subjects. It is proven that eating a diet high in fiber will help you lose weight while maintaining a healthy weight, promote regularity, and help keep your stomach full longer, thus making you less hungry. What better way to increase that all-important fiber into your diet than with a tasty apple? A common suggestion for those trying to eat less and lose weight is to eat an apple an hour or so before a meal. Try it, you will be amazed at how effective it is in helping to limit caloric consumption.
In the wise words of Benjamin Franklin, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." Sounds just about right.
Eat your apples, and all kinds of fruits and vegetables, load up on fiber, and you will not only keep the doctor away, you will live a healthy, happy, longer life.
Until next time.