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Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Apples & Healthy Eating

I read a wonderful article on Yahoo! Health recently about the health benefits of apples called "Apples: The Live Longer Fruit". Now, like most people I'm familiar with the old adage of "an apple a day keeps the doctor away..." but when I learned that saying I was five - I was definitely not as conscious about what I was putting in my body as I am today.

So, why are apples so good for us?

Well, there are many reasons! What I learned in the article is that apples are a great source of fiber in the form of pectin, as well as a great source of antioxidants. The fiber helps cleanse our bowels and encourages good colon heath. Apples are also believed to help lower your bad cholesterol, reduce the risk of cancer, slow down our aging (my favorite benefit!) by lessening the effects of stress, diabetes, and heart disease, and help prevent hair loss.

I looked up apples in a few other places and also learned that apples (and pears actually) are incredibly detoxifying, good for your skin, and help the body resist infection. Most importantly, I learned that it is important to buy apples that are organic, unbruised & firm-skinned (as to avoid the ones that were picked before they were ripe, which means they didn't develop as much nutritional value).

If all of this is true, then apples really are a "miracle" fruit!

Some fun ways to eat apples include: integrating them into a sandwich for some crunch, eating them on a salad (fruit or regular salad), eating low calorie dried or low calorie freeze-dried apples, eating applesauce for dessert (I'll blog about my favorite soon), or eating some apples accompanied by peanut butter, honey, low calorie frozen yogurt, fage yogurt, or low calorie ice cream!

200 calories of applesOn another totally random note (I will return to my regular blog programming tomorrow), I thought this site about what 200 calories of various foods look like was really interesting/cool. It is amazing how much of some foods that you can eat for 200 calories vs. how little of others. The picture to the left shows a 200 calorie portion of apples. Seems like a lot! Pretty good compared to the high sugar foods like gummy bears!


Note: Photo of 3 apples from FreeDigitialPhotos & Photo of 200 calories of apples from wisegeek.com


Anonymous said...

I do love apples! I frequently eat them as a side to my yogurt.

But I have a question! Since caramel apples are like everywhere this season, do you have any suggestions for a lower calorie, lower fat version to make at home? I made one the other day melting 1 serving of caramel candy to keep the portions and calories in check, but 6 pieces makes hardly any caramel sauce to coat an apple, and the nutritionals aren't any better than what you would buy in the store. (apart from the fact at least I KNOW how many calories I'm eating) Fat free dipping sauce doesn't exactly satisfy the craving, cuz sometimes I just want it sticky and chewy and perhaps topped with crushed graham crackers or sprinkles - all on a stick. :P

Elizabeth said...

Good question! I'll see what I can find. My guess is that the way to go is to eat a small portion of regular caramel. But, I'll definitely look around, try some ideas, and get back to you...

Anonymous said...

Interesting post. There's a saying that an apple a day keeps the doctors away.

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