Fall time is apple time

The autumn months are a perfect time to incorporate more apples into your diet. Michigan grown apples are sweet, delicious and provide many health benefits including phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Many people associate the months of autumn with apples – visiting apple orchards, drinking warm apple cider after a hay ride or dunking for apples at the neighborhood Halloween party. What isn’t there to love about this delicious fruit? Apples provide a large variety of flavors and textures that are great for cooking, baking or just eating raw. Apples are a convenient snack for busy families – they are easy to pack and store. And for those of us looking for more nutritious food options, apples are packed with phytonutrients and antioxidants.

The old adage, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away” might have more merit than we realize. Apples provide many health benefits:

  • May help protect bone health
  • May help prevent diseases such as asthma, heart disease and certain kinds of cancer.
  • The phytonutrient called quercetin that is found in apples, may help in the prevention of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson disease.
  • The pectin found in apples may help to lower LDL cholesterol
  • Good source of vitamin C
  • Good source of soluble and insoluble fiber
  • Excellent source of flavonoids and antioxidants

Fresh, Michigan-grown apples are usually available from late summer until early winter. Fortunately, due to cold storage and shipping from other states and countries, apples are also available throughout the year in most grocery stores. When it comes time to select apples, make sure to look for firmness and rich coloring. Variety is also an important factor to take into consideration. Preference in taste and the apple’s purpose (raw eating or cooking) will assist in selection.

Consider these quick and easy serving ideas for apples:

  • Add diced apples to fruit and/or lettuce salads
  • Use sliced apples as a seasoning for meal options, including casseroles, meat and beans
  • Use low-fat yogurt and peanut butter as a dip with sliced apples

For more information on the health benefits of apples, check out these websites:

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