American author and transcendentalist Henry David Thoreau called the apple “the noblest of fruits.” And in America, we tend to associate them with our fall traditions.
But since they’re now available year-round at the grocery store, you should strive to eat this crisp, “noble” fruit during the spring, summer, and winter, too.
For one, they’re loaded with antioxidants, flavonoids, fiber, B and C vitamins, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
Not to mention, there’s nothing quite like biting into a fresh apple on a hot afternoon.
Of course, science also shows eating them regularly can provide POWERFUL PROTECTION against four dangerous diseases.
Let’s dive right in…
An apple a day really could keep the doctor away
- Cancer. Apples are packed with powerful antioxidants, which fight off inflammation and DNA damage. So, it should come as no surprise that eating them can ward off many types of cancer. Including cancers of the lung, breast, and digestive tract.
In addition, eating apples can support cancer recovery. In particular, their high potassium content can prevent edema and fluid retention, two common side effects of radiation and chemotherapy.
- Cardiovascular disease. Eating apples provides widespread support to your cardiovascular system. For example, polyphenols (found in apple skins) appear to protect against high blood pressure, the No. 1 hidden cause of cardiovascular disease.
In addition, flavonoids (again, found in apple skins) help reduce atherosclerosis—the build-up of plaque in the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and/or stroke. In fact, in one notable study involving more than 9,000 men and women, those who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had a lower risk for thrombotic stroke (a type of ischemic stroke) than those who ate the least.
- Dementia. One particularly powerful flavonoid called quercetin has significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Researchers even think it can help ward off degenerative brain diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. In one recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers found that people who had the highest flavonoid intake were a whopping 40 percent less likely to develop dementia than those with the lowest intake. (And yes, apples are rich in flavonoids.)
- Type II diabetes. Even though some doctors warn people with blood sugar problems to avoid eating any type of fruit…that’s a big mistake!
Remember, your body processes the natural sugar (fructose) found in apples and other types of fruit much differently than it does table sugar. (Learn more in the April issue of my Insiders’ Cures newsletter [“Sugar and carbs PROTECT AGAINST diabetes and disease?!”]. Click here to become a subscriber.)
Plus, the phytonutrients in apples actually help regulate your blood sugar. In fact, they inhibit enzymes involved in the breakdown of complex carbohydrates into simple sugars. They also stimulate the pancreas to produce insulin. And, lastly, they decrease the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
I should also note that the famous Women’s Health Study at the Harvard School of Public Health found that those who eat one or more apples a day have an impressive 28 percent lower risk of developing Type II diabetes compared to those who eat none!
Of course, apples are also considered “prebiotic” foods, which means they feed the healthy “probiotic” bacteria in your gastrointestinal (GI) microbiome. And more and more research suggests that the GI microbiome is the gateway to your health. So, it’s really no wonder eating this delicious prebiotic fruit supports so many different aspects of your health!
Enjoy the benefits of apples all year long
There are a variety of ways to enjoy this nutritious fruit, any time of year. You can eat them on their own or add them to sandwiches, salads, main dishes, or desserts. I also enjoy eating them with full-fat, plain, Greek or Icelandic yogurt…or cottage cheese (for an added boost of protein and healthy fats).
Of course, at this time of year, a light, colorful Waldorf salad sounds awfully good, too. It makes for a nice side dish for any Memorial Day celebrations you may have coming up.
Here’s a simple recipe…
Ingredients: 2 large apples, ½ cup walnuts, 1 celery rib (chopped), ¼ cup raisins, 1 cup of grapes (halved), 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ½ cup plain, full-fat Greek yogurt, 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon lemon zest, and a pinch of black pepper.
Directions: First, chop the apples into small chunks and add them to a large bowl with the walnuts, grapes, celery, and raisins. Second, sprinkle the mixture with lemon juice and set aside. Third, prepare the dressing by combining yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon zest, and pepper. Fourth, fold the dressing into the apple mixture and stir well. Finally, chill for 1 hour or overnight—and enjoy.
This light, delicious salad serves four. And it will keep well in the refrigerator for several days. For some added protein, you can serve it over a bed of greens with some organic chicken breast or wild-caught salmon.
Just make sure to opt for organic varieties of apples, as conventional apples often carry a very high pesticide burden.