By Chelsea Fisher
Eating an apple a day won’t keep the doctor away, but it’s not a bad place to start. The combination of antioxidants and phytochemicals within apples—including quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin—may help prevent or inhibit cancer cell growth.
Apples, like many other fruits and vegetables, are recommended for improving overall health status because they provide fiber and have high nutrient density. Apples have both soluble and insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber helps reduce a blood sugar spike after a meal and reduces LDL cholesterol, it also aids in reducing diarrhea. Insoluble fiber can help symptoms of constipation and makes eliminating waste and toxins easier.
Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that not only reduces free radicals but helps other antioxidants do their job and supports a healthy immune system. Apples also contain a small amount of vitamin B-6, a required nutrient for making neurotransmitters like serotonin that help regulate our moods. Vitamin B-6 is also required for making heme, the protein that holds iron to carry oxygen throughout the body. Both of these are important for maintaining energy.
Look for apples that are firm with no bruises. The most common varieties include Granny Smith, Fuji, Gala, Braeburn, Honey Crisp, and Pink Lady. Each variety provides a surprisingly different taste, from tart to sweet, so when following a recipe, it’s usually best to choose the type listed.
Apples make a tangy addition to any sweet tart, pie, or pastry like an Apple Pie, but they can also be an interesting complement to savory fare, such as a sauerkraut dish. If you are craving a sweet treat, try our Simple Baked Apples.