While “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away” might just be an old adage, there is definitely truth behind the popular saying. Apples are fat, sodium and cholesterol free, plus they’re high in vitamin C and fiber. Because of their high fiber content, apples rank low on the Glycemic index, allowing for a more regulated release of sugars into the blood stream, which prevents a spike in insulin production. Since fiber, along with contributing to colon health and a reduced risk of stroke, also tends to keep you feeling fuller longer, you may not feel the urge to overeat. According to NutritionFacts.org, apples lower the risk of heart disease, contain a high level of antioxidants, and prevent environmental dioxins in the body due to their high levels of phytonutrients. Apples do rank high on the Dirty Dozen list, so buy organic when possible. And since much of the apple’s nutrients reside in its outer layer, it’s best to enjoy your slices with the skin on.
The varieties of apples are seemingly endless with 2,500 different types grown in the US and 7,500 available worldwide. So if you are looking for some sweetness with your crunch, try Fuji, Honeycrisp and Gala apples. For an apple that falls somewhere in the middle, try a Red Delicious or Golden Delicious. If tart is tops for you, you can’t go wrong with a Granny Smith. The most common harvest season for apples is early to mid-fall. So grab the family and head to your nearest orchard for a crisp fall day of apple picking among the changing leaves.
Pro tips: Store your apples in a plastic bag in the fridge and consume within three weeks. Say yes to shiny, firm apples and no to ones with brown spots and bruises.
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