I'm sure you've heard that saying many times, here's the apple nutrition information to support this claim.
Until recently I wasn't a big fan of apples, but this has changed! Not only for their health benefits, but also for the taste.
I was mainly eating Granny Smith and other supermarket varieties that are imported from as far away as New Zealand. Stored for an average of 15 months, waxed, polished and then sold in plastic foil.
Can you imagine what happens to smell and flavor after such a treatment? Well, it disappears.
But one day (after we moved to the suburbs) a mobile trader called "Apple Man" rang my door bell, and I was instantly hooked by his merchandise. Those fresh, delicious, small, hard and crisp fruits smelled and tasted like heaven.
They're organically grown, feature an uneven but oh so natural surface and it's a sheer delight to take a big bite.
Guess, what? I bought 25 kg (50 lbs) of apples that day! It was early in October and they were freshly harvested from the trees. From old trees grown on traditional mixed orchards, extensive farming with different types of fruits. Not the industrial plantations where the same kind of trees are put in lines and showered with pesticides.
According to the apple nutrition information by the USDA they have the following health benefits:
1. May Prevent Heart Disease and Stroke
The high content of flavonoids may prevent heart disease and stroke. Especially the skin contains two very valuable flavonoids called quercetin and phlorizin. Quercetin has proven to boost memory and may even prevent lung cancer. Phlorizin is important for us women as it helps in the prevention of bone loss during menopause.
2. Keeps You Hydrated
The high water content of around 80% helps to keep your body hydrated. It contains few calories (less than 100 for an average sized apple) and can keep you satiated for hours.
3. Regulates Bowel Movements
The high amount of pectin is a perfect source of fiber. With 5 apples a day you can get 100% of the daily recommended intake.
The fiber helps to regulate bowel movements. It serves both ways: to prevent constipation eat one apple before meals. To fight diarrhea, grate the apple finely and eat with natural yogurt.
4. Cleanses Your Body
Apples have proven to cleanse your body from toxic chemicals like mercury and lead. They even seem to bind radioactive residues and excrete them from your body. Apple juice is often used for liver and gall bladder cleansing.
5. More Apple Nutrition Information
Antioxidants, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Potassium, trace minerals. There are more than 200 more nutrients you get from your "Daily Apple Dose".
Apples can be stored up to 12 months without losing their health benefits.
The ideal place is cool, humid and dark with a constant temperature of 4°C / 39°F. The fruits should rest on shelves, where they don't touch each other.
Good storage places are a dark cellar, a frost-proof garage or a cool attic. We decided that our garage would do the trick, at least from October to May. We don't put the apples on shelves lying apart though, because we don't have enough space. Instead they lie in wooden boxes with 6-8 kg of fruits each. That's good enough for us.
Using the garage has one added benefit: no stairs and you pass here several times a day anyways.
Meanwhile the kids in the neighborhood know that we keep delicious apples in the garage. Whenever they come over to play, the first question is: "Can I eat an apple please?"
Guess what happened? After three months I had to call the Apple Man and order more because we had run out of stock :-)
Extra Tip: if you live in a small apartment and don't have the storing space, use re-sealable polyethylene (PET) plastic bags. They prevent the drying of your apples and keep them longer fresh.
Don't mix with other fruits!
Apples produce a gas called ethylene or ethene. This ripens all sensitive fruits or veggies nearby. Therefore never store apples near other fruits such as kiwi or bananas, because they will ripen and wither much faster.
But you can also use the ethylene to speed up the ripening of green kiwi or bananas. Just put an apple into the same bowl.
Off course the favorite taste and smell is totally up to you. For storing use a variety that is storable such as Boskoop, Cox Orange, Elstar, Gala, Gloster, Golden Delicious, Fuji, or Jonagold.
Personally I prefer the Boskoop, even though most other people think they're too sour. Our kids love the Fuji, that are slightly sweeter.
Organic apples are smaller than the supermarktet ones, which is good. They're perfect sized for the kids, who usually don't manage to eat one of the big ones.