How does an apple benefit your body? Let us count the ways—and give you some easy ideas for working them into a healthy diet without too much effort.
by Marissa Lippert, R.D.
Though apples are widely available all year long, they’re at the peak of their season right now. And while they don’t always get the glory as far as nutritional powerhouses go, an apple’s health benefits are legit.
Though apples are widely available all year long, they’re at the peak of their season right now. And while they don’t always get the glory as far as nutritional powerhouses go, an apple’s health benefits are legit. Yes, apples can definitely hold their own as power fruits:
They boast high levels of phytochemicals like quercetin, plus solid doses of flavonoids and carotenoids — all of which help lower disease risk and protect against cancer.
They’re also a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber, which will keep you full and satisfied. (Bonus: It will help to manage those cholesterol levels, too.)
They contain small amounts of vitamins A and C, among others.
So as the (admittedly tired, but true) adage goes, an apple a day really can keep the doctor away. Here’s how to eat up.
Have Apple Oatmeal for Breakfast
It’s as simple as it sounds: Dice an apple up and toss it into your morning oatmeal along with cinnamon and chopped pecans for a hearty, filling start to your day. (Because remember, skipping breakfast is a bad idea.)
For best results, you’ll want to throw the apples in to the pot right when your oatmeal has thickened—and starts gently bubbling. Cook for 1 minute to soften but keep a little bit of crisp.
Make A Baked Apple for Dessert
Get that apple pie taste without all the fuss—or all the fat. Core and slice an apple (Granny Smith, Gala, Golden Delicious and Rome are all good here) in half, then sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, or brown sugar. Bake it at 350° F for about 20 minutes. And for extra flavor, you can add ground nuts, a touch of butter, a drizzle of honey, or some dried fruit and granola. Kind of mouth-watering, huh?
Pack A Better Turkey Sandwich
Make lunch a little more interesting by adding apple slices to your standard turkey sandwich. Just pop them on whole-wheat bread with turkey; a slice of harvati, Swiss or cheddar cheese; and some Dijon mustard for a filling and flavorful mid-day meal.
Pro Tip: Granny Smith, Golden Delicsious, Northern Spy, or Winesap apples all have the extra crunch and sweet-tart taste you’re looking for here.
Eat the Best Pre-Workout Snack
Up your energy before a workout with a quick and easy snack that combines some healthy carb with a decent dose of protein. Just slice an apple and dip in a tablespoon or two of peanut butter or almond butter.
And if you need to take it on the go, core an apple and slice it lengthwise, then use the nut butter to make mini-sandwiches. They'll travel better than the slices when you’re in a rush.