Fall is the time we switch from all the lovely stone fruits and berries of summer and get to go out and pick some apples. The variety of apples available is now larger than ever. The apple of our childhood, the Red Delicious, has fallen out of favor, as the Envy, Honeycrisp, and the Pink Lady have taken center stage. Whether you like sweet or tart, there is pretty much an apple to satisfy every taste bud. Apples can be part of a meal or snack, and there is a good reason for the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Apples are full of fiber. Averaging 4 grams, eating an apple gets you well on your way to the goal of 35 grams per day. Fiber keeps our intestinal tract healthy, and helps fill us up, making an apple an excellent snack choice. To get all the fiber from an apple, don’t peel it. If you prefer your apples cut up, soaking the cut slices in some water with lemon juice for a minute or two will keep it from browning before your eat it.
Like all plant foods, apples are full of antioxidants. Quercetin is one of the main antioxidants found in apples. Animal studies show that quercetin is anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and may even be an anti-depressant. As discussed in the October 5th blog post, eating plenty of plant foods is key to cancer prevention. Eating apples whole, chopping them up in your oatmeal or salad, or baking them into a sweet treat are all ways you can add their cancer-fighting properties to your diet.
The high vitamin C content of apples might be another way they keep you out of the doctor’s office. At 15% of your daily needs, they aren’t as high as oranges or kiwis, but these foods also don’t have the fiber levels of apples. This combo of high vitamin C and high fiber make apples a standout for disease prevention.
Enjoy this apple season. Try some new varieties. And try out my Apple Yogurt Parfait for breakfast!
Cinnamon Apple Yogurt Parfait
- 1 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
- ½ an apple, cut up into bite size pieces
- 2 tablespoons Grape-nuts or other low-fat, low-sugar granola or cereal
- 1 teaspoon chia seeds, or other seed or nut
- Ground cinnamon for garnish
Scoop yogurt into a bowl. Add in all toppings. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Enjoy!