Tuesday, October 13, 2009

You've heard, "An apple a day will keep the doctor away."  While it will certainly take more than a daily apple to keep you healthy, it is a step in the right direction.  Apples are delicious, easy to carry for snacking, low in calories, a natural mouth freshener and they are still very inexpensive.

Apples are a source of both soluble and insoluble fiber.  Soluble fiber such as pectin actually helps to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the incident of atherosclerosis and heart disease.  The insoluble fiber in apples provides bulk in the intestinal tract, holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system.

It is a good idea to eat apples with their skin.  Almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin.  Eating the skin also increases the insoluble fiber content.  Most of an apple's fragrance cells are also concentrated in the skin and as they ripen, the skin cells develop more aroma and flavor.

There are hundreds of varieties of apples on the market today, although most people have only tasted one or two of the most popular such as Red Delicious, Gala  or Granny Smith.  Apples can be sweet, tart, soft and smooth or crisp and crunchy.  There is an apple to suit almost everyone's taste, so have an apple today!

Apple nutrition facts for one medium apple - fresh, raw, with skin:
calories 81
carbohydrates  21 grams
dietary fiber  4 grams
soluble fiber  
insoluble fiber
calcium  10 mg
phosphorus  10mg
iron  .25 mg
sodium  0.00 mg
potassium  159 mg
vitamin C  8 mg
vitamin A  73 IU
folate  4 mcg