Hello!! HAPPY Monday :D
How are you?! Did you have an AWESOME weekend?! Doesn't it seem like it was just Friday a few minutes ago...lol?! Holy smokes, for me, the weekend flew by at lightning speed! Anyway :D it's Monday, so lets have a healthy AND productive week!! BRING IT ON!!!
September is here and with it comes the start of the harvest season! This is actually my favorite time of year!! 1 of my favorite things to do is rambling through a nearby farm and picking crisp, juicy, apples and crunching into them, fresh off a tree! Apples are a sweet treat that we can feel good about eating!!
Today's post is on APPLES! You could have guessed, right?! :D Apples are the second most popular fruit in the United States with each American eating about 19 pounds a year. KEEP READING and find out why an apple a day keeps the doctor away ;)
Apples are packed with disease-fighting vitamins, antioxidants, and more, easily making them 1 of the top ranked fruits for your health. The following are a few health benefits of apples:
1. APPLES lower cholesterol!
2. APPLES keep you full!
3. APPLES keep you slim!
4. APPLES prevent breathing problems!
5. APPLES fight colds!
6. APPLES may fight cancer!
7. APPLES decrease diabetes risk!
8. APPLES boost brain power!
9. APPLES prevent gallstones!
10. APPLES boost your immune system!
More HEALTHY information...
DRIED APPLES: The plus side of shrinking down the fruit is that some of the nutrients get much more concentrated; 6 dried rings provide almost as much fiber and potassium as 1 fresh fruit. And as long as you stick with a handful or so, the calories are about the same as for a whole apple. (Baked apple chips have similar bragging rights. And, of course, extra crunch.)
APPLESAUCE: If you associate applesauce mainly with your second-grade lunch box, it's worth getting reacquainted...just go for the unsweetened kind. Usually made from apples and water, a half cup of the insta-snack rings up at only 50 calories and delivers a 1-gram shot of fiber.
APPLE BUTTER: Look for straight-up apple butter, made with apples only or apples plus just a touch of juice concentrate or cider. (Yours has cinnamon? Even yummier!) The fruity spread, about 30 calories for a generous spoonful, is perfect on whole-grain bread with nut butter, or throw a dollop into oatmeal, yogurt, or smoothies.
APPLE CIDER AND JUICE: The 2 apple drinks are near equals, with calories per cup in the 115 to 140 range. (So best saved as the occasional fling from your main beverage, water.) But fresh cider contains bitsy particles that are filtered out of clear apple juice, and 1 study suggests that some ciders, or cloudy juices, can have up to 5 times more of a key antioxidant.
FRIED APPLE CHIPS: You can think of them as the fruit version of potato chips: The apple rings are fried (that's what makes them nice and crispy), and they can have about the same number of calories. They are also often sweetened, so make these slices a snack splurge :)
APPLE PIE: It's almost unpatriotic not to have a slice once in a while :D Best bet is to bake your own. That way, you can control the amount of sugar that goes in. Start with fresh apples, then sprinkle on spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, which will add flavor with next to no calories. Extra points to those who make a whole-grain crust ;)
Do you want to know how those packaged sliced apples stay white?!
The wedges are often bathed in vitamin C and calcium, which helps keep them fresh and crisp! And, yes, they're totally safe to eat!!
I buy the packaged slices at Costco and sometimes I'll take 1 when I workout at the gym. I'm always hot and sweaty after a workout, so the crispy (and cool-feeling) apples ROCK :D
If eating an apple whole, make sure to leave the skin on...it contains a good portion of the fruit's plant power and about half the fiber! LOAD UP on apples!!
Have a FRUITastic day!
SEE YOU back here on Wednesday!!
Pamela Stewart, NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Weight Loss Specialist