The Health Benefits of Apples

Eating a Nutritious Apple Everyday can Boost Overall Health

The nutritional value of apples can be very beneficial to overall health. Making wise choices when buying and storing them can also help them to retain their benefits.

An apple may have caused problems in The Garden of Eden, but it is a “good guy” when it comes to nutrition. It is also a very portable and easy-to-consume snack.
Health Benefits of Apples

The variety of health benefits supplied by apples is huge and very encouraging. This fist-sized snack that needs little preparation – unless they are being cooked – is packed with health-boosting properties:

Help protect bone health
Help prevent asthma, heart disease, and cancers such as lung, breast, colon, and liver
New research also suggests that the phytonutrient called quercetin may help to prevent Alzheimer’s and Parkinsonism
Pectin in apples can help to lower LDL cholesterol
Good for diabetes and weight management
Good source of vitamin C
Good source of soluble and insoluble fiber
Excellent source of flavanoids and antioxidants

It is important to keep in mind that a lot of the goodness of apples is contained in the skin. If eaten whole, they need to be washed carefully – right before being consumed.

On the tree, apples have their own natural waxy coating to protect them. This is removed when they are cleaned for production, and a new artificial coating is applied for shipping them. This artificial coating can be washed off using warm water and a fruit and vegetable cleaner.

Organic apples don’t always look as good as other apples, but they are the safest choice if there is concern about pesticides and preservatives.

How an apple is eaten is also very important – especially when eating them with the skin on. Each bite of apple needs to be chewed until it is practically mush. Then the digestive enzymes can do their work of extracting the nutritional components from the apple as it passes through the digestive system.

Biting off large chunks of apple, and swallowing them practically whole will put too much stress on the stomach as it tries to break the large pieces down. This is the reason that some people experience a pain in their stomachs after eating one.

Chewing well is a good rule for eating any food. The more a piece of food is chewed, the easier it is for the digestive system to extract its goodness.

Buying Apples

When buying apples, the consumer first needs to decide if he is going to eat the apples fresh or use them for cooking. The Extra Fancy grades are best for eating. Other grades will do for cooking.

Next, the consumer needs to decide if he prefers tart or sweet flavored apples. Apples have a range of flavors and textures to choose from. For example, Red Delicious apples taste sweet, while Gravenstein apples taste tart.

Finally, the consumer will need to choose fruit that is firm and free of any obvious bruises. The best apples will have a good, even color.

Storing Apples

Unless the consumer is planning on freezing apples – or storing them in a cellar or cold storage – he should buy only as many as will be consumed in a short time.

The apples need to be handled gently – one bruised apple can cause the whole bunch to spoil.

Apples should be stored in the crisper of the fridge. They soften much faster at room temperature. They should not be stored with vegetables because they will cause some vegetables to break down faster.

Apples make an easy, nutritious, and portable snack. They are one of nature’s best “fast” foods. To get the benefit from apples, they need to be part of a daily healthy diet.

Kids with gluten allergy can enjoy the health benefits of apples by making gluten-free apple snacks.

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