Bushels of News About Apples

September is here! Sunsets are earlier, school buses have emerged, and apple trees are bursting with fruit. You’ve likely heard “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This phrase originated in Wales in 1866 in a different rhyme, “Eat an apple on going to bed and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” Research shows that eating apples may not be associated with fewer visits to the doctor, but don’t underestimate the health power of these vibrant beauties and the variety of ways they can be enjoyed this season.

A Nutrition Powerhouse

Here are a few health benefits you get when biting into a crunchy, juicy apple:

  • Promotes gut health: apples contain pectin, a type of fiber that reaches your colon intact, promoting the growth of good bacteria
  • Increases heart health: apples are loaded with soluble fiber which may help reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels, both of which are risk factors for heart disease
  • Enhances brain health: apples may help stimulate the production of new brain cells which have implications for learning and memory – great for back to school!
  • Helps manage weight: due to their fiber content, apples have shown to promote feelings of fullness while decreasing calorie intake and overeating

One Apple, Two Apple, Three Apple, Four

Apples are one of the most well-known and widely consumed fruits, found in kitchens and lunchboxes around the world. It is no surprise that apples are so popular. They are convenient, portable, relatively inexpensive, and they come in a variety of tastes and textures. There are over 7500 varieties of apples around the world, 2500 of which are grown in the United States. The large variety makes it a bit confusing to know which type of apple should be used for what purpose.

Make some sense out of all those apples! Here we announce the winners of a few apple pageant categories:

Overall Popularity: Gala, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp

Most Tart: Granny Smith, Pink Lady, Braeburn, McIntosh

Best for Baking: Braeburn, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Honeycrisp

Crispiest: SweeTango, Honeycrisp, Cosmic Crisp, Pink Lady

Apples and Spice and Everything Nice

Incorporating spices into snacks and meals adds health benefits that people are often not aware of. Apples pair nicely with quite a few spices, the most common of which are allspice, nutmeg, and cinnamon. In savory meat-based dishes, apples combine well with sage and rosemary and will make your taste buds happy.

Allspice: You are not alone if you thought allspice was a premade blend of spices, but it is a single spice with a unique flavor described as a blend of up to four different spices. That’s where the name allspice comes from. It has a history of use as a home remedy for colds, indigestion, headache, and fatigue.

TIP: Enjoy a warm, peppery flavor by adding ground allspice to meats, fish, poultry, or stew.

Nutmeg: The warm, slightly nutty flavor is not the only positive trait of nutmeg. It contains powerful antioxidants and is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds.

TIP: Add nutmeg to squash and sweet potato dishes, sprinkle in apple cider, hot chocolate, or chai tea. Try freshly grated nutmeg on fresh fruit, oatmeal, or yogurt.

Cinnamon: This popular spice comes from the bark of the cinnamon tree and is great for people who have high blood sugar. It lends a sweet taste to food or drinks without adding sugar.

TIP: Sprinkle cinnamon on yogurt, oatmeal, or coffee. Incorporate it in stew, chili, or as a meat rub.

Sage: This green herb is available fresh or dried and contributes a strong aroma and earthy flavor to dishes. Rich in vitamin K, sage may support oral health and memory and brain function and contribute to lowering cholesterol and blood sugar.

TIP: Add chopped sage leaves to tomato sauce, omelets, season roasted vegetables, or try sage tea.

Rosemary: Though best known as a food seasoning, rosemary is one of the most popular aromatic and medicinal plants in the world. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, may improve the digestive system, boost the immune system, and alleviate muscle pain. The aroma from rosemary can improve concentration.

TIP: Add rosemary to roasted vegetables, pair with potatoes, or boil fresh rosemary leaves with water to make rosemary tea.

Create a beautiful autumn charcuterie board with these popular apple pairings:

Granny Smith Apples + Gouda Cheese + Walnuts + Fig Jam + Prosciutto

Honey Crisp Apples + Sharp Cheddar + Cranberry Goat Cheese + Almonds

Gala Apples + Gruyere Cheese + Candied Pecans + Dark Chocolate + Almond Butter

TIP: The apples listed are perfect for a charcuterie board because they do not brown easily and are a great cracker substitute.

Apple Orchards Near You

Enjoy a fun-filled excursion with family or friends! Use your new apple-sense and have fun choosing from the variety of apples at a local orchard.


Heidi Kutz, Viarohealth Education Specialist

For questions or comments, please contact wellness@viarohealth.com


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