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Apples for a Healthy Bite

153755211_applesOctober is National Apple Month! Apples are one of the most popular fruits purchased by American consumers and there are over 700 varieties to be picked! They not only taste great, but they also provide a lot of nutrients. Apples have only 80 calories for a medium-sized fruit. They are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower bad cholesterol (LDL). They contain good quantities of the antioxidant vitamin C and also beta-carotene and B-complex vitamins. Apples are fiber packed and can be very filling for a power snack before a workout or as a pick-me-up during a mid-day energy slump.

An apple a day really does keep the doctor away! Here are some of the health benefits that make apples so smart to eat. They may:

  • Boost weight loss
  • Improve brain health and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Inhibit growth of cancer cells of the colon, breast and protect against other cancers
  • Improve heart health
  • Strengthen the immune system
  • Increase good bacteria in the gut

Apples are crunchy and satisfying and easy to grab and go. Here are some great ways to pack apples into your routine:

  • Lunch box
  • Car trips
  • Beach/pool trips
  • Plane rides
  • Picnics

Apples are a ready-to-eat fruit. These tips can help you keep them fresher longer:

  • Select apples that are firm to the touch, free of bruises.
  • Wash apples under running water and dry with a paper towel.
  • If slicing or dicing up an apple, store in a mixture of one part lemon juice and three parts water and either eat within 2 hours or refrigerate.
  • Refrigerate apples right away to maintain flavor and slow down ripening. Apples that are stored properly can last 4-6 weeks.

Apples are fun to eat in creative ways:

  • Apple slaw
  • Apple chips
  • Chopped apples as an oatmeal topping
  • Baked apples for dessert
  • Chopped in tuna salad
  • Tossed in a green salad
  • Sliced in a turkey sandwich with melted 2% low fat Swiss cheese
  • Apples smeared with peanut butter
  • Served with a low fat cheese stick for a snack
  • Homemade chunky apple sauce
  • Low-fat high fiber apple berry muffins or apple walnut bread

What’s your favorite apple?

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