“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” may be an old proverb we’re all familiar with, but perhaps it has lost its relevance in today’s fast-paced, convenience-driven society.
The apple has come a long way since it tripped up Adam and Eve in the garden. (*Smile* I don’t think they actually ate an apple! Moving on…)
It used to be that people waited for the apple to be ripe and sweet before picking it from the tree in late summer or early fall, at least here in the U.S. Today, apples are sprayed with pesticides, picked before they are ripe, and then ripened with ethylene gas before they reach our local grocery stores. The detectable traces of pesticide residue are so high on apples that the Environmental Working Group (EWG) has put it near the top of its Dirty Dozen list.
Choosing to eat organic or locally grown apples is important for numerous reasons, and making the apple worthy of becoming your number-one, daily go-to fruit during this season is a must. Apples are high in vitamin C, B-complex, and phytonutrients.
They constitute a healthy carbohydrate and are high in fiber but low in sugar. In fact, you can double the amount of fiber by leaving the peel on; this soluble fiber is known to lower cholesterol.
Apples also contain pectin, which is good for your gut because pectin acts as a prebiotic that feeds the good bacteria in your gut. And when you take into consideration that they also contain calcium, potassium, and phosphorus, apples are good for your heart, digestive tract, brain, and in reducing oxidative stress.
I love to eat a cold fresh-crisp apple after a workout, as an afternoon snack, or as dessert. I also keep them in the fridge, so they are always readily available which makes my life easier.
Adding cinnamon and raisins to the dish will provide additional health benefits; plus they both serve as natural sweeteners making it the perfect after dinner treat. Cinnamon is recognized as a medicinal spice and is good for your immune system and heart health. This antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial spice is not only a good source of fat, but it lowers cholesterol, blood sugar levels, and cancer risk.
Why add the raisins? Because raisins are a healthy carbohydrate, rich in vitamin B, potassium, and iron. This fiber-rich gem also contains catechins, an antioxidant known to reduce free radicals in the body which helps reduce cancer cells. Raisins are a perfect source of natural sugar—giving you a perfect mid-day pick me up, and they are delicious when paired with apples.