It’s apple time!
Apples – and apple-picking – are as much a part of autumn as school supplies and raking leaves. But there’s more to this all-American fruit (which actually originated in China) than a sweet crunch and cider.
A study at Ohio State found that eating an apple a day for four weeks lowers the bad cholesterol that triggers hardening of the arteries (thank you, antioxidants). Apples are also packed with potassium that can keep blood pressure at a healthy level, and a flavonoid that lowers the risk of type 2 diabetes.
And apples have been shown to help reduce cancer - particularly lung cancer - as well as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s Disease. They also speed up metabolism, which helps with weight loss, and improve eyesight.
And is there anything easier to pack in lunchboxes?
While there are 2,500 varieties of apples in the U.S., you’ll find only a few at farmer’s markets and stores. Some are better fresh (like Red Delicious and my favorite, Honeycrisp), while others (like Rome and Golden Delicious) are best for baking. Others (Pink Lady, Fuji) are good either way. (The other morning at my local farmer’s market, a woman asked the teenager manning the booth which variety would be best for making an apple pie, “They’re all the same,” yawned the girl, who I’m guessing would rather have been somewhere else, like sleeping. A mix of varieties can be great, but variety matters.)
Size, however, does not matter - small apples can be just as sweet as their big sibs.
When you’re buying apples, feel is as important as looks. Fruit should be firm, and not waxy. When you store apples, keep them refrigerated, and separate (they emit a ripening gas called ethylene that will ripen other fruits around them). And go organic if you possibly can – pesticides coat the leaves and seep into the core, making them highly contaminated.
Another way to get an organic apple boost is via one of my favorite organic cold pressed Living Juices, Red Radiance. (Going apple picking is great, but so is delivery.)
Or go here for a simple apple crumble recipe: https://www.drinklivingjuice.com/blogs/recipes/apple-crumble
However you slice 'em, apples are one part of your diet you can feel good about!