Apples are delicious and did you know you can find over 7,500 different varieties of apples? That's a lot of apples. In fact, it would take over 20 years to try a new apple every day!
The first apples were grown between 7000 and 5000 BC in Central Asia and it is believed that they were grown for their medicinal values and of course later on in history, they were known as the ‘forbidden fruit’, in the biblical story The Garden of Eden.
An apple a day, keeps the doctor away
A healthy diet involves a lot of fruits and vegetables as they have a variety of vitamins in them, but apples have a special place in the world of fruits and vegetables due to their amazing health benefits.
Apples are a healthy food that can be eaten raw or cooked in a variety of recipes. They are low in calories and fat, yet high in fibre and vitamins.
There really is something in the old saying ‘an apple a day, keeps the doctor away’ as apples have a huge amount of health benefits, particularly as we age.
Apples help prevent tooth decay, lower cholesterol and contain a natural sweetener -- fructose -- which is a natural laxative, so they help you maintain regularity. Apples also contain phytonutrients that may help prevent cancer. Eating apples can also reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure and bad cholesterol levels.
The phytonutrients found in apples can also protect against lung ailments like asthma, bronchitis, allergies and sinus problems; help prevent heart disease; keep your skin healthy; make your eyesight sharper; give you better hearing; improve your memory; reduce your risk of infection; lower your blood pressure; reduce the risk of cancer; make you feel happier; and even boost your metabolism!
Ways to incorporate more apples into your diet
Apples are the perfect addition to your morning meal or snack and you can choose from a wide variety of apples and many different colours, sizes and flavours including Red Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, to name just a few!
Here are just a few simple ways you can incorporate more of the green, crunchy deliciousness into your diet;
1. Eat a whole apple a day. Apples contain pectin which is great for lowering cholesterol and reducing the risk for heart disease. It keeps blood vessels flexible and helps maintain healthy blood pressure. The fibre found in apples keeps you feeling full longer so you don't get hungry as often.
2. Stir up your taste buds. You can easily make your own homemade applesauce by cutting up the apple into small pieces, adding a dash of cinnamon and sugar then cooking it on low heat until all the water is gone or until it becomes thicker. Applesauce makes a great spread for toast or bagel, mix with plain yoghurt or serve with whole wheat pancakes topped with warm syrup.
3. Juice it up. Apple juice is another wonderful way to incorporate more apples into your diet. Juice fresh apples, carrots, beetroot and ginger to help relieve an upset stomach or use it as an alternative to sugar when you have a sweet tooth craving.
So, now you know the many health benefits of eating apples, why not start reaping the health rewards and pop an apple or two on today’s menu?
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