Now that fall is finally here, apple season is upon us! Apples offer us a wide variety of nutritional benefits, especially the skins.
For example, apples are:
- A great source of heart-healthy soluble fiber, which helps lower your LDL (bad) cholesterol;
- High in antioxidants, which are a key to heart health because they help protect our cardiovascular system from oxygen-related damage;
- High in flavonoids (provide antioxidant protection and help prevent excessive and unwanted inflammation. Flavonoids have repeatedly been shown to help lower the risk of heart disease, and also to improve problems with heart disease once it has occurred.)
A great way to pick up organic apples is at your local farmers market or to pick them yourself at an apple farm. Below are two links where you can find local farmers markets and apple farms.
Apples are very portable, keep well at room temperature or refrigerated, and can make a quick snack on the go.
Besides using apples as snacks, here are some ways to incorporate apples into your diet…
- Cut and peel a green apple, and add slices to your morning oatmeal or high-fiber cereal
- Make apple cider
- Include in a breakfast parfait with low-fat granola and yogurt
- Chop and add to a salad
- Make an apple crisp by putting oatmeal, cinnamon, chopped apples, and Splenda brown sugar into a glass pie dish, and baking for 30 minutes.
For more recipe ideas, go to http://www.virginiaapples.org/recipes/index.html (Don’t forget to substitute for high fat and sugar items in these recipes when you can to lower the calorie content)
For nutrition or exercise questions, contact
Kelly Devine Rickert, MS, RD, CSSD, LDN
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