Fall is apple season; most grocery stores are stocked with a variety of apples, and if you are lucky enough to live near an orchard, you can go and pick your own.
We’ve heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but how do apples work their magic? The U.S. Apple Association provides information about the many health benefits of apples, as well as news about the apple industry and details about different varieties of apples.
Just a few of the health benefits that have been associated with apples include:
- Healthy Brain: A study in the Journal of Food Science in 2004 (Journal of Food Science 2004;69:S357-S360) showed that the nutrients in apples protected neurons in the brain against the oxidative damage that may contribute to Alzheimer’s disease or Parkinson’s disease. Results of another study suggest that people who already had Alzheimer’s showed significant improvements in their symptoms when they drank apple juice regularly. These effects may be due to the role of an antioxidant called quercetin, which is found in apples.
- Healthy Heart: A recent study in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association, showed that the risk of stroke was more than 50% lower in adults who ate more fruits and vegetables with white flesh (mainly apples and pears).
- Healthy Breathing: Apples can help our health before we’re born. A study in the journal Thorax, published in 2007, suggested that children whose mothers ate apples during pregnancy were less likely to have asthma at 5 years of age (Thorax 2007;62:745-746).
- Healthy Body: Apples are associated with a healthy immune system because they are an excellent source of soluble fiber, which may strengthen the immune system, according to a study conducted by the University of Illinois. In addition, the antioxidant quercetin may help slow the growth of cancer cells, according to a recent study in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention (European Journal of Cancer Prevention 2010;19:42-47).
Some easy ways to add more apples to your diet:
- Chop up apples and add them to cereal, yogurt, oatmeal, or pancakes
- Enjoy apple slices with peanut butter or honey
- Add apples to soups and salads
- And of course, don’t forget the classic apple desserts, including apple pie, apple crisp and apple cobbler
- Find healthy recipes at www.eatingwell.com
- Check out this AllRecipes.com video with easy instructions and tips for making a classic apple pie.
from the Pulse and Health and Wellness Resource Center