Apples enjoy a well-deserved reputation of providing good nutrition.

And as I sliced a big juicy fuji into chunks for my morning bowl of oats, I vowed to pop in and complete a quick refresher course on just why they should be such a regular part of our diet.

The real deal: virgin apples

In this month of Halloween, when apples start to appear in all manner of altered shapes and forms:  from pies to candied to slices dipped in chocolate (I once received whole boxful of these in the mail as a gift, complete with caramel coating under the chocolate which made it darn hard to find the real gem – the apple!) – let’s give it proper respect in it’s plain, simple – and most powerful – form.

Raw and whole, as it is fresh picked.

  1. High in dietary fiber: a medium-sized, 5-ounce apple, provides about 4 grams of dietary fiber.  This is about 15% of the Daily Value (DV) for fiber, and includes both insoluble fiber (as in  cellulose) and soluble fiber (as in pectin).
  2. Anti-oxidant protection:  the list of phytonutrients that serve as anti-oxidants is impressive when it comes to apples. Remember, antioxidants areof vital importance to heart health. They help protect our cardiovascular system from oxygen-related damage.  Note:  many of the anti-oxidant properties of apples are found in their skins;  select organically grown apples for this reason.
  3. Lower cholesterol: the pectin in apples has the effect of lowereing  LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
  4. Improve your insulin profile: the pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid, which can lower the body’s need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes.
  5. Satisfy your sweet tooth: humans have a strong draw to sweet for a reason:  carbohydrate is the most important fuel for brain and body  function.  Apples provide quality carbohydrate in a nice sweet package, and by partaking of same we can satisfy our natural desire for sweet and find our craving for junk sweets naturally diminishing.  A powerful component of any health-building or weight loss diet.

How about you – have you had your apple today?  Actually, I’ve had two now…picked another fresh from the tree out back returning from our morning walk.  Braeburn.

© Lani Muelrath 2009 image: hugo

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