An Under-rated Super Food
Updated: May 17
What's red or yellow or green, comes in over 7500 different varieties, helps prevent a myriad of conditions. and is one of the most nutritious foods on the planet?
Did you guess? It's the humble apple!
Yep, that's right....apples are one of the most nutritious foods you can place in your mouth. They have a high water content, contain just about every vitamin and mineral needed for human health, are full of phytonutrients and flavonoids, and provide some good fibre for good gut health.
Oh....and they taste good too!
According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a large apple will give you around 20% of your recommended daily fibre intake. So why is that important? We need fibre to help our digestive processes, including having regular bowel movements. Apples also contain pectin which is a certain type of fibre that acts like a prebiotic and helps feed the good bacteria that live in our large intestine. When we feed the good guys, the bad guys get crowded out, leading to a more healthy gut. And recently, there's been much research into the importance of a healthy gut for disease prevention and resolution.
In a study that was published in the journal 'Nutrition', it was found that apples also contain antioxidants which help with cardiovascular health. The soluble fibre in apples is helpful in lowering cholesterol levels, and another recent study showed that eating one apple each day for 4 weeks significantly lowered the level of oxidised LDL cholesterol in the blood, (the bad stuff), which again, is useful in helping to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.
A number of other studies have shown the flavonoids in apples can help lower the risk of cancer and stroke.
That's a pretty impressive line up of benefits from a humble little apple!
What's the best way to eat them, cooked or raw? Good question!
Raw is the best option but if a raw apple doesn't excite you, then by all means, cook it. Just remember not to add any sugar or sweetener, and cook it until it's just tender. You can bake it or chop it up and steam or lightly stew it, then serve it warm with a sprinkle of cinnamon. Delicious!
The old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" may not be too far from the truth. Try to include one of these little superfood powerhouses in your daily menu. Your body will thank you for it.