Apples pack a lot of good nutrition as well as flavor

A higher consumption of apples has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease — you know, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and all of that.

SHARE Apples pack a lot of good nutrition as well as flavor
More than 7,500 varieties of apples are grown around the world.

More than 7,500 varieties of apples are grown around the world.

Dreamstime/TNS

People have been eating apples for more than 10,000 years. It’s thought that the Silk Road trade routes were responsible for the thousands of domesticated varieties we enjoy today.

Apples (Malus domestica) are members of the rose family and filled with nutritional value. One medium apple has about 95 calories and is packed with health-protecting plant compounds known as polyphenols, 17 percent of the daily value (based on a 2,000-calories daily diet) of fiber and 14% of the powerful antioxidant vitamin C.

A higher consumption of apples has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease — you know, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, and all of that — in part by helping blood pressure.

Apple polyphenols also have been associated with the prevention of several cancers, including breast, colorectal and ovarian, as well as possibly offering some antioxidant protection against brain degeneration.

Most markets stock apples year-round, but they are best in season, from the end of summer until early winter. Refrigerated, they’ll last for weeks — months, even, when sliced and frozen.

Apples are most nutritious eaten raw and unpeeled. They can be sliced or diced into salads, slaws, oatmeal or dipped in nut butters and dips and also are delicious in applesauce, muffins and more.

Environmental Nutrition is an independent newsletter written by experts on health and nutrition.

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