It’s no secret apples are great for your health. There’s a reason for the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” But it begs the question: What makes them so nutritious?
“Eating fresh apples is a terrific source of vitamins and minerals, plus a great way to get more fiber in your diet,” says Jennifer Franceschelli-Hosterman, DO, an obesity and weight management physician at Geisinger. “Fiber is good for your digestive health, can lower cholesterol, help control blood sugar and aids in maintaining a healthy weight.”
Don’t skip the skin, either. It packs a nutritional punch because it’s often the richest layer of fiber, vitamins and minerals in an apple.
Dr. Franceschelli-Hosterman also shares this juicy tidbit: Not all apples are created equal. The more color and variety, the bigger the health benefit. So the next time you reach for an apple, look for bright colors, flesh that’s firm without bruises and a nice aroma that assures it’s fresh.
“The varying and bright colors of Red Delicious, Fuji and Gala apples found locally, for instance, are associated with different kinds of phytonutrients, an antioxidant that helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, certain types of cancers and other chronic disease,” says Dr. Franceschelli-Hosterman.
But while nutrients can vary by type, any apple is a winner and a great addition to a healthy diet.
Not getting an apple a day? Try this easy recipe.
- 2 cups cabbage
- 1 medium carrot
- ½ green pepper
- 1 apple
- 5 tablespoons yogurt, low-fat
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, low-fat
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon dill weed
- Wash the cabbage and cut it into fine shreds. Peel the carrot and grate it with a grater.
- Chop half a green pepper into small pieces. Chop the apple and remove the core.
- Stir together the cabbage, carrot, green pepper and apple in a large mixing bowl. In a separate small bowl, mix the yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice and dill weed to make a dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad and toss to mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Adapted from myplate.gov.
This story originally appeared in PA Health, our quarterly full-color magazine filled with wellness tips, inspiring stories and more.
Sign up to have PA Health sent to your mailbox or inbox 4 times a year, for free.