One of the defining foods of fall is the apple. With so many varieties to choose from, everyone has their favorite from the Red Delicious to the Pink Lady. But there are a lot of benefits to eating apples that make the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" quite true.
Apples are a type of fruit grown on trees and typically harvested in the fall (However, thanks to modern farming, we can enjoy them year round.). Did you know there are 7,500 varieties of apples? Of that total, 2,500 varieties are grown in the United States making apples, without a doubt, top fruit. They can range in color from golden yellow to pink and deep red and run the gamut in flavor from sour to sweet.
10 Reasons to Eat More Apples
Apples make a fantastic low calorie snack or addition to any meal. With less than 100 calories per medium-sized apple, you can enjoy one to stay on track with your diet and so much more. These are our 10 favorite reasons to eat an apple each day:
1. Digestive Support -- Apples are rich in fiber, with 4 g on average. This soluble fiber helps keep the digestive system regular to prevent constipation.
2. Weight Management -- That fiber has another purpose, and that is to fill you up. Eating an apple before or with a meal can help you consume less calories and feel more satiated throughout the day.
3. Heart Health -- The vitamins, fiber and minerals in apples also support proper cardiovascular function and can help reduce your risk for heart disease when consumed as part of a balanced diet.
4. Immunity -- The vitamin C within apples helps keep the immune system on guard against illness.
5. Oral Health -- The act of biting into an apple and chewing it cleans the teeth and assists in fighting bacteria and plaque formation.
6. Breathing Aid -- Apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which assists in respiratory function. This may help you breathe better all day and especially during workouts so you can really push it.
7. Lower Cholesterol -- The fiber within apples, also known as apple pectin, can help reduce LDL or "bad" cholesterol levels, which increase your risk for heart attack and heart disease.
8. Maintain Hydration -- Apples contain about 84 percent water as well as the mineral potassium, which is a vital electrolyte. This keeps the body's fluids regulated for proper hydration.
9. Disease Prevention -- The antioxidants found within apples, namely vitamin A, vitamin C and quercetin, protect the cells of the body against free radical damage and the development of chronic disease.
10. Detox -- Apple cider vinegar, when raw and organic, is a fantastic way to detoxify the body by assisting in liver function to remove toxins.
Now that you're ready to grab an apple and dig in, here's a new way to use your haul from the orchard or farmer's market.
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Use a small amount of coconut oil to grease a small baking dish. Add sliced apples.
Combine all remaining ingredients (except for yogurt) and mix until the batter forms small beads. Drop batter over apples and spread with a spatula.
Bake for 30 minutes until golden brown and apples are cooked through. Top with a scoop of yogurt and serve.
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