“An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” while a timeless quote, is one that we rarely heed to. Some fruits seem more exotic and maybe even tastier, yet the everyday apple has so much to offer in terms of health benefits and even taste. When ripe and depending on the variety, the flavors can vary from sweet to sweet/tart to simply tart.

Fall is a wonderful time of the year to get acquainted or reaquainted with apples, many of which become in season beginning in September. Apples are an excellent source of fiber, which helps with digestion and the clearing out toxins from the body, including excess cholesterol.

Apples are also high in anti-oxidants that fight free radical damage, which can ultimately destroy our tissues and cause inflammation in the body. Fruits and vegetables are high in anti-oxidants in general, and an apple a day would would go a long way to fight free radicals. Apple peels are significantly higher in anti-oxidants as compared to the flesh.

Apples, particularly red apples, contain a compound called quercetin, which has been associated with lung health. George Mateljan, in his book, the world’s healthiest foods- ESSENTIAL GUIDE to healthy eating, reported research where asthmatics consuming apples at least twice a week had a reduced risk of asthma attacks. Other studies reported eating five apples a week to help improve lung function (http://www.bestapples.com/healthy/index.aspx). If you have a respiratory condition, you may want to experiment with how many apples a week you add to your diet.

Studies also have found that consuming apples regularly was associated with a reduced risk of strokes and that they can help balance blood sugar. This is especially important when it comes to managing or reducing the risk of diabetes. There even has been a connection between apple consumption and reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. To learn more about research related to the health benefits of apples, visit http://www.bestapples.com/healthy/index.aspx.

Because apples contain fiber, they are very filling and can help stave off food cravings. If you know that you will be having a big dinner and just want to take the edge off your appetite, have an apple shortly before and you will certainly eat less. Dr. Keith Aloob, in his book, The Uncle Sam Diet, takes it one step further and suggests an apple, hard-boiled egg, and a cup of tea before attending a really big event, such as a wedding. In this way, we will be less reactive to all of the food triggers around us. It really works!

“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” – Hippocrates

Photo- June Rousso