October is National Apple Month! I can’t think of a better time to shed some light on the wonders of this fabulous fruit. Both delicious and nutritious, apples are a true “superfood” and a great addition to every diet.
Here are 10 wonderful reasons why apples are great:
- Apples are free of fat, cholesterol and sodium.
- A medium apple (about 5 ounces), is satisfying, has a mere 80 calories and equals one carbohydrate choice or fruit exchange.
- They have a low glycemic index (the rate at which they raise blood sugar). In fact, women who eat at least one apple a day have been found to be 28% less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than those who do not eat apples.
- They are loaded with fiber. A medium apple has 4 grams of fiber, most of it in the form of pectin, which lowers cholesterol and blunts blood sugar swings.
- Apples are vitamin and mineral rich providing vitamins A and thiamin, along with healthy doses of potassium, phosphorus and iron.
- According to Cornell University, the fresh apple extract from just one medium apple provides as much antioxidant activity as 1500 milligrams of vitamin C!
- Apples are good for your smile. Apples don’t actually clean your teeth but biting and chewing an apple stimulates saliva production which lowers the amount of bacteria in your mouth reducing the risk of tooth decay.
- The flavonoids found in the peel may be potent cancer fighters.
- When it comes to cooking, apples are sweet, crunchy, versatile and economical. Chopped or sliced apples are a perfect topping for hot oatmeal or cottage cheese (especially when finished off with a dusting of cinnamon and a sprinkle of your favorite sweetener), a terrific mix-in for muffins and breads, and a flavorful addition to salads and slaws.
- Nothing beats a hot apple dessert, especially when paired with fragrant cinnamon. Luscious enough for any occasion, this no-sugar added Sour Cream Apple Pie (with just 20 grams of carbs per slice) is a snap to prepare when made with a store-bought pre-prepared crust, while a Microwave Cinnamon Baked Apple is perfect any time at all (even for breakfast) and quick to make.