Is there anything better than crunching on a fresh juicy apple? There are thousands of known apple varieties around the world, however, in the United States only about twenty or so are commercially available—that’s still amazing right?
Everyone has heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
Sure, eating an apple everyday can have certain health benefits, but on hearing the phrase, some people may find themselves wondering if an apple a day will keep the doctor away?
A friend of mine recently let me in on a little bit of gossip while I was in Spain. She told me that her husband had been seeing a wellness guru. Now, I know this guy and the idea of him with a wellness guru is unfathomable, but if he can start making his health a priority, then anyone can!
Once I knew he was seeing this guru I knew I had to ask him questions. I am going to share with you what his ‘guru’ explained to him.
His advice was interesting and more tailored to behaviors rather than specific diet plans. He explained that having a healthy lifestyle can make you feel happier, it can help with brain health and memory, help with weight loss, aids in development and strengthening of muscles and bones, and it can help your skin health and increase energy levels. The guru told him to remember to laugh daily with his family and friends, take time to play with his dog, watch his favorite TV show with his partner or family and to have fun at work!
Sound simple enough? Yet somehow, leading a healthy and fulfilling life is still extremely difficult for most of us!
You may be wondering what this has to do with ‘an apple a day’. It’s simple, not only are they valuable nutritionally, but taking the time out of your day to eat one, and to take just five minutes to yourself can make a world of difference. First and foremost, apples are great for you! While the "wellness guru" and so-called fitness buffs might have you believe that all you have to do to be healthy is track your macros, as a health educator, I’m here to tell you that’s certainly not the case.
Everyone knows that apples, apart from being low in calories, are naturally low in fat and have a high-water content, which makes them a great option for "healthy snacking" with your waistline in mind. But in my opinion, they are the far better choice for snacking, instead of those energy-dense bars and balls you’d find in the snack food aisle. A typical apple has only about 75 calories and 25 grams of carbohydrates (the same amount as 2 slices of bread!) The peel of an apple contains chromium, a mineral that is important in assisting insulin, the hormone that helps regulate blood sugars and enables them to be utilized for energy, in action. Apples provide vitamin C and E, both of which have antioxidant properties. They are rich in flavonoids which reduce the risk of heart disease. A single apple provides around 15% of your daily vitamin C needs as well!
Along with all of these wonderful, physical health benefits, taking the time to eat an apple a day can help you fulfil a few of those tasks the ‘guru’ suggested! In those five minutes where your slicing up your fruit you can have a conversation with your loved ones, you can munch on an apple while you walk your dog, or you can make a healthy family snack with you kids. Best of both worlds!
Here are a few more tips/facts about apples from me:
- Biting and chewing an apple stimulates the production of saliva in your mouth, reducing tooth decay by lowering the levels of bacteria.
- Apple juice is full of fiber that makes your stomach full and discourages you from overeating.
- Drinking of apple juice is linked with lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
- Apple juice is loaded with flavonoids, which is effective in prevention of asthma attacks. This anti-oxidant makes your lungs function smooth.
- Always brush your teeth before going to sleep, no exceptions - Chewing an apple does not remove dental plaque.