Sunday, September 28, 2014

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away"

A saying that we heard from our grandparents when we were growing up. Turns out the benefits of eating apples may do just that along with provide your body with essential nutrients, fiber and vitamins ! Here are some benefits of eating apples and how amazing they are for you !

On a nutritional level, for about 95 calories they contain about 4 grams of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber attracts water and turns into a gel during digestion which makes you feel full and slows down digestion. One apple counts as one cup of fruit for your daily caloric needs of 2 cups of fruit per day.

The antioxidant properties in apples help to maintain weight loss. Pectin which is a type of fiber, can also help keep you feeling satisfied. For few calories it's no wonder they are a great snack in between meals.

Apples were associated with a lower risk of death from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease. Frequent apple eaters had the lowest risk of suffering strokes compared with nonapple eaters. The heart-healthy benefits to antioxidant compounds found in apples, which help prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and inhibit inflammation. Plus, the soluble fiber in apples has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.

People who eat apples may be less likely to suffer from metabolic syndrome, a cluster of symptoms linked to an increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. Apple eaters have lower levels of C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation whose presence in the blood suggests an increased risk for heart disease and diabetes.

Eating an apple before you work out may boost your exercise endurance. Apples deliver an antioxidant called quercetin, which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs. Or you can eat an apple post workout with a protein shake and 1 TBS. peanut butter for a balance of protein, carbs, and fats which will aide in recovery of your muscles !

Here is your apple low-down !

In the tangy category, MacIntosh and Jonathon reign supreme. For those of you with a sweet tooth, Red and Golden Delicious, Gala, and Rome are rank the best to eat. The Honey Crisp, Empire, Braeburn, Cameo, Ginger Gold, and the Pink Lady offer a little sweet-tangy-tart bit of everything.

When baking you want a large, firm, crisp apples, like Crispin, Fuji, Braeburn, Cameo, Red Delicious, and Ralls Janet which go well in pies, in baking, or apple sauce.

Tip for keeping those apples from turning brown: take Vitamin C-fortified apple juice, toss a little on sliced apples, and it prevents browning like a lemon, just without the super tart flavor a lemon gives.

Apple Crisp

Ingredients:

1 Granny Smith Apple
2 Tbsp Old Fashioned Rolled Oats
2 Tbsp Chopped Nuts (I used walnuts)
1/2 Tsp - 1 Tsp Honey
1 Tbsp Raisins
1 Tbsp Lemon Juice
Cinnamon
Cooking Spray

Directions:

-Chop the apple into chunks (I left the skin on) and combine with lemon juice, raisins, and lots of shakes of cinnamon in a bowl and set aside.
-Mix oats, chopped nuts, honey, and more cinnamon and spread on a foil lined cooking sheet (I used the tiny tray in my toaster oven and it was perfect. Bake this mixture at 425 for 5-7 minutes.
-Meanwhile, cook the apple/raisin/lemon mixture over medium heat for 6 minutes, adding a little water to the pan each time it gets dry.
-The apples and topping should be done about the same time. Sprinkle the topping over the cooked apples and enjoy!

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