(Baptist Health) – Fall is finally here! The time for pumpkin spice lattes, cooler weather, changing leaves—and apples.
Whether you decide to go apple-picking at an orchard or grab a few at the grocery store, you are in for a treat and the health benefits that come with it.
What makes them so healthy?
Apples are naturally free of cholesterol and sodium, making them the ideal snack for a healthy lifestyle. When consumed as part of a low-sodium diet, apples may reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
Apples are not only fat-free but also a great source of fiber. Why is this important? According to the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR), the high fiber content and polyphenol compounds in apples may reduce the risk of cancer. Diets high in dietary fiber are likely to decrease the risk of colorectal cancer. Apples have also been linked to a lower risk of a specific type of breast cancer, and some evidence suggests fruit may lower the risk for lung cancer in current or former smokers.
Need more of a reason to go apple-picking?
Eating whole fruits such as apples could help prevent type 2 diabetes. The American Medical Association reports that those who consume a moderate number of whole fruits have less of a chance of having diabetes at five years.
While apples have numerous health benefits, make sure you reach for whole fruits instead of fruit juices. Fruit juices can spike your blood sugar, make you feel less full and do not provide the same health benefits as whole foods.
When selecting your apples, choose those that are firm, shiny and have smooth skin. Storing apples—and other fruits—correctly can help them last longer. Check out our infographic for tips.