Tuesday, September 20, 2011

An apple a day…

The heat has finally broken and breezes are blowing. Autumn is finally coming. One thing associated with Fall is apples. I love warm apple crisp and apple pie – REAL comfort foods!
(Stay tuned for my favorite apple crisp recipe I’ll be sharing soon)

Beyond taste, apples offer a lot as far as nutrition. You remember the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Well, they just might help keep some degenerative conditions and diseases at bay. Research has now found that the apple, a beloved fruit among all age groups, may provide protection against a variety of conditions, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and even allergies.

Apples are rich in antioxidant polyphenols and anti-inflammatory quercetin, along with the soluble fiber in apple pectin (found in the peel). Quercetin, a flavonoid in apples, has been shown to help fight allergies and may provide protection against heart disease and cancer. Just yesterday, the news headline was “Quercetin-rich apples and pears may cut stroke risk by 52%”. Dutch researchers followed over twenty thousand heart disease-free adults for ten year and found that white fleshed fruits (apples, pears) – rich in quercetin – were better than green, orange/yellow and red/purple fruits for reducing the likelihood of stroke. A study earlier this year found that women who ate 75 grams (about 2.5 ounces) of dried apples every day for six months had a 23% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and a 4% increase in HDL (good) cholesterol

Apples are available in a variety of forms, including fresh whole apples, apple juice, dried apples (preferably unsulfured) and applesauce. To avoid pesticides, choose organic whenever possible, and enjoy the true taste of autumn.