Learn the amazing health benefits of apples and grab quick and easy ideas and recipes to add more apples to your diet.
Why Everyone is Talking About Apples
Apples are a wonderful fall treat. Although they are commonly for sale in grocery stores year-round, seeing local apples pop up in my CSA box signals Autumn has finally arrived. So, when crisp cool air and fresh apples come my way, I prioritize baking and cooking with apples. Of course, in the other seasons of the year, apples still make a great, nutritious treat and addition to your diet.
Some time ago, I shared a short post on my Instagram and Facebook pages about the health benefits of apples (www.Instagram.com/ChristieKelemenPage/ and www.Facebook.com/ChristieKelemenPage/ ). I received several responses and chose to dive deeper into the subject and write an entire article about this delicious and nutritious fruit.
As a bonus, I have included quick and easy ideas and recipes to get more apples in your diet.
Also, I have included the benefits of apple nutrients as they relate to the perimenopause/menopause years.
Basic Health Benefits of Apples
Apples provide a natural sweetness that makes them perfect for snacking and adding to dishes. They contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and other nutrients that promote good health. An apple a day may indeed keep the doctor away.
Let’s first look at some of the basics of an apple from the USDA’s Nutritionix (1).
1 Medium Apple:
14% RDA Vitamin C
6% RDA B-6
6% RDA Potassium
(other vitamins and minerals at 1% or below of the recommended daily allowance)
.3 g Fat
4.4 g fiber
.5 g protein
25 g carbohydrates
The Health Benefits of Apples in Detail
1. Vitamin C
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps support your immune system and protect immune cells.
Vitamin C can increase progesterone levels. This is important because balancing your changing hormones is critical starting in your 40s as hormone levels naturally transform and progesterone slowly declines (while estrogen typically fluctuates wildly before finally declining). Additional progesterone might help provide you balance as estrogen makes its rollercoaster decent.
And Vitamin C may also aid in controlling heavy periods as it supports the integrity of blood vessels.
2. Vitamin B-6
Vitamin B-6 increases circulation, guards against infection, and boosts mood, as it helps to produce serotonin.
Women’s serotonin levels drop as we age, which may contribute to mood swings and depression. Therefore, naturally increasing serotonin through what you eat may help ease these symptoms.
Potassium helps to lower blood pressure, regulate blood sugar and regulate your heartbeat.
Potassium may improve bone density which commonly decreases in women during the menopausal years. Also, as cardiovascular disease and stroke can occur along with menopause, potassium might help protect you by lowering your blood pressure.
Fiber slows the rate sugar enters your system, reduces constipation, helps you feel full, and increases nutrient absorption. Women should aim for 25 grams of fiber per day.
During the perimenopausal/menopausal years, it is easy for you to gain weight as your hormones change your fat distribution (around the belly), change your metabolism, and alter your blood sugar response. But fiber helps you feel full and can curb cravings by helping stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Disease Prevention Benefits of Apples
I can’t state enough the importance of your diet for preventing disease.
In my blog, The Easy Anti-Inflammatory Lifestyle Blog, I aim to make eating healthy as easy as possible for everyone to reap the health benefits. Get on the list to receive a weekly update when I send a new post.
Apples Reduce Cholesterol and are Good For You Heart.
Check out this American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2019 article: “Two apples a day lower serum cholesterol and improve cardiometabolic biomarkers in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial.” (2) This article shows us eating two apples per day is good for lowering cholesterol and helping your heart.
They Can Help Prevent Cancer.
Eating apples lowers the risk of breast cancer according to the American Institute for Cancer Research. (3)
Apples Can Lower Blood Pressure.
Apples contain potassium which regulates blood pressure, and quercitin which lowers blood pressure.
Take Action to Gain the Health Benefits of Apples
- I have included three recipes with apples in my cookbook, SHORTCUT REAL FOOD: 20-minute meals.
Cooked Autumn Fruit
Sweet Apple Sandwiches
Photos of these recipes are throughout this article. Read more about and purchase my cookbook at ChristieKelemen.com/cookbook “SHORTCUT REAL FOOD: 20-minute meals”.
5 Simple Ways To Eat An Apple
There are many ways to eat an apple. Here are five of them!
1. Cut it up into bite-sized pieces.
Apples are one of the easiest fruits to cut up. These bite-sized pieces are perfect for throwing on a salad.
2. Slice it thin with a knife.
Thin slices of apples are easy to slip into a sandwich or to use as a cracker topped with cheese.
3. Peel off the skin.
Suppose it’s the skin holding you back from eating an apple. Peel it off. But, you will still gain many health benefits.
4. Core it out.
Also, you can also eat apples whole minus the core of seeds and toughness. Pop out the core with an apple corer, and you are ready to go.
5. Dip it.
Try a nut or seed butter if you prefer to dip a sliced apple in something. Nut and seed butters are delicious and nutritious. They have protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats.
What Do Apples Go Well With?
Proteins: Chicken, pork, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, peanut butter, walnuts
Vegetables: Cabbage, beets, celery
Other Fruits: Apricots, blackberries, pears, apples, oranges, raisins
Herbs & Spices: Cinnamon, ginger, lemon
10 Easy Ideas to Gain the Health Benefits of Apples
- Applesauce (choose unsweetened)
- Add apples to pancakes
- Add apples to quick breads
- Whip up a Waldorf Salad
- Make a quick fruit salad with apples, bananas and oranges
- Slice ahead – dip in lemon juice to prevent browning
- Stir apple bites into oatmeal
- Cooked Apples and Pork
- Chicken and Apples
- Stir apple bites into cottage cheese
- Stir into Mac n’ Cheese
- Add to Thanksgiving Stuffing
- Add to coleslaw
While writing this post I chatted with my kids about apples because we love apples at our house. Each of my three kids shared their favorite way to eat apples. Two said thin apple slices. One said Apple pie.
Apples are a wonderful fall treat. Apples provide a natural sweetness that makes them perfect for snacking and adding to dishes. They contain fiber, vitamin C, potassium, antioxidants, and other nutrients that promote good health. An apple a day may indeed keep the doctor away.
Apples can reduce cholesterol, prevent cancer and lower blood pressure.
For more nutrition-boosting ideas, check out the posts in my “Nutrition” blog category: ChristieKelemen.com/category/nutrition
For more easy healthy recipes, check out the posts in my “Recipes” blog category: ChristieKelemen.com/category/recipes
(2)Two apples a day lower serum cholesterol and improve cardiometabolic biomarkers in mildly hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, controlled, crossover trial | The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition | Oxford Academic (oup.com)
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This blog post is for informational and educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat any health condition or to be prescriptive for anyone. Always be sure to work with your healthcare practitioner before making any changes.
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