Kayla Slater, Columnist
Have you heard the common saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Well, it’s true. Research has proven that apples provide valuable health benefits. Since this month is “National Apple Month,” go apple picking or buy some local apples!
National Apple Month began in 1904 as National Apple Week to promote apple sales and then was expanded to the entire month. The promotional event over the course of October enhances consumer awareness of all of the different apple products to increase sales. Due to the popular need for apples by consumers, every state in the U.S. grows apples and New York is one of the top growing states. On average, the U.S. consumer will eat around 16 pounds of fresh apples a year. Buyers have various choices of apples to choose from.
About 100 varieties of apples are grown in the states, but there about 15 standouts. These apples include Braeburn, Cortland, Empire, Fuji, Gala, Ginger Gold, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Idared, Jonagold, Jonathon, Macintosh, Red Delicious and Rome. The best apples to bake are MacIntosh and Granny Smith which make delicious pies. Idared, Jonathon and Rome apples are also good baking apples. The Honecrisp and Gala are the best apples to eat or snack on since they are crispy, juicy and sweet. Cortland apples resist browning, so are best in salads and as garnishes.
Apples are considered “superfruits” because they provide essential vitamins, minerals, and fiber in your diet. They keep you hydrated because they are 84 percent water, low in calories, contain vitamin C and help meet daily fruit intake. Eating the skin is most beneficial since it contains the dietary fiber which helps keep you full longer and helps with the GI tract. Recent studies show links to apples improving symptoms or decreasing risks of certain diseases. Apples help with weight loss since you feel full longer. They may decrease the symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and improve immunity. Apples may even help different types of cancers, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and asthma.
If you are not an apple snacking fan, try cutting out the core of an apple, adding brown sugar, cinnamon, nuts, and dried cranberries in the center, and bake for 30-40 minutes on 375 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a healthy dessert alternative or a great post-workout snack! Remember to go to the Farmer’s Market this weekend and get your apples.