I don’t care what the weather officials say, it’s officially Autumn for me. I’ve begun my fall shopping, I’ve taken the leaves and scarecrow decorations out of hiding and I’ve unpacked my cozy sweaters and boots. Although the chilly weather, Halloween and the beautiful foliage are top contenders, one of the real reasons I love fall has to do with this week’s superfood…the apple! My all-time favorite thing about fall is biting into a crisp, in season Cortland apple or drinking a delicious cup of hot apple cider. Some of the reasons I love the apple have to do with the nostalgic feelings that come with my first bite, but most of it has to do with just how good they are and how good they are for you! Whoever coined the term “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” was right on the money!
Apples have been proven to reduce your risk of lung and breast cancer, so eat up!
Might as well strap a cape and boxing gloves on the apple because this fruit is a serious fighter, especially when it comes to preventing lung cancer! According to the Nutrition Journal, a study that was done involving 77,000 men and women found that those who ate apples [as well as onions and grapefruit] had a 21% reduced risk for lung cancer than those who did not. Another study done with 10,000 people found a 50% reduction in the risk of lung cancer in those who ate apples on a regular basis.
Not only are apples known fighters against lung cancer, they have also been tested to reduce the risk of breast cancer. According a study done by Cornell University [as found on Health Diaries], rats [with a known mammary carcinogen] who were fed an apple a day had a 17% reduced chance of getting breast cancer. Those same rats who were fed 3 and 6 apples a day increased their chances of being breast cancer free by 39% and 44%! Sceintests believe the phytochemicals [which are antioxidants found in most fruits] inhibit cancer cell growth.
Apples work with your heart and fight off the buildup of plaque!
Just like most of the other superfoods I feature, apples are great for your cardiovascular health. [And I'll continue to feature foods that beat heart disease since it's the number 1 killer in America!] According to Eating Well, researchers suggest that the strong antioxidants, or flavonoids, found in apples play a key role in preventing LDL cholesterol [bad] buildup, which reduces the plaque build up in arteries, which often leads to inflammation. Researchers also found that apple eaters had lower levels of C-reactive proteins, which is a marker of inflammation and often leads to a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Diabetes & Weight Loss
As I mentioned above, the antioxidants in apples have been proven to lower the risk of diabetes. A study done in Finland only reinforces this point. Of the 10,000 people who were tested, the ones who ate an apple on a daily basis had a significantly lesser chance of getting type 2 diabetes than those who did not. Also, according to Health Diaries, the pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body, which reduces our body’s need for insulin, which can help reduce the onset of diabetes. It has also been shown that women who eat the recommended serving of fruits and vegetables [especially apples] lose an average of 2 more pounds per week than those who did not. An apple a day not only keeps the doctor away, it also keeps your weight at bay!
So grab your favorite variety and take a bit bite to keep your health in check! Also, try this delicious recipe for apple chips for a fun fall party snack!
- 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 large apples
- Preheat the oven to 250°. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon. Using a serrated knife or mandoline, thinly slice the apples crosswise, discarding the seeds and both ends. Arrange in a single layer on parchment-paper-lined baking sheets; sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar.
- Bake the apple slices, turning every half hour, until dry, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and transfer to racks to cool. Store in an airtight container.
Nutritional Information [per cup]: 119 calories, 0 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber