I’m really excited right now. Like, bouncing off the walls THRILLED to begin this week’s blog series. Are you ready for it? Are you sure? Ok, here we go!
This week I decided to pay special attention to an absolute favorite of mine. I’ve written about it before and I have devoted a considerable amount of my blog and Facebook page (like me please!) imagery to this particular fruit. Have you guessed it yet? That’s right folks. The apple.
Look at it. Isn’t it beautiful?
I chose the apple as my preferred icon for Food4ThoughNYC for a number of reasons. It’s my favorite food hands down. I believe the apple symbolizes the ultimate in healthy eating. It’s prolific, relatively cheap, and a source for a wide variety of nutritional benefits. The use of apples in legends and fairy-tales further illustrates the attractive quality of this fruit and how big a role in plays in our culture. Plus apple season marks the beginning of fall which is my favorite time of year. Nothing makes me happier than seeing fruit stands with piles of freshly picked apples of all shapes and sizes.
Given my penchant for overly ambitious projects on Thursdays’ My Pretty Apron and my obsession with apples, I decided to dub this week “5 Shades of Apples.” Yes, a special thanks to EL James for ruining me. Each day I will feature a recipe with apples as the main ingredient, cooked in a variety of ways. From sweet to savory, apples can lend an extraordinary flavor and texture to any dish and I hope to display just how versatile this fruit can be.
Before we get started, let’s review the science.
FOOD4THOUGHTNYC’S NUTRITION FACTOIDS
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
– Antioxidants: Apples are a rich source of antioxidant compounds which prevents damage to cells and tissues, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease, prostate, lung, and colon cancers.
- The vast majority of the antioxidants found in apples come from flavonoids, which have been found to have anti-allergic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
- The antioxidant quercetin is found in the skin of apples and has been linked with better lung function which can help with breathing problems like asthma.
– Reduces risk of Diabetes: A 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that a higher consumption of fruit rich in anthocyanin, like apples, was associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
– Fiber: A medium-sized apple contains approximately 4g of fiber which is not as significant as other fruit, but it has fiber in the form of pectin, a soluble fiber, which has been linked to lower levels of LDL or “bad” cholesterol. This fiber also helps keep you feeling full longer, which makes it a great snack to help curb your appetite.
– Low-calorie: There are only about 95 calories in a medium-sized apple. In addition to all the nutritional benefits, you’re also better able to maintain or even lose weight if you regularly consume apples.
– Reduces Obesity: Recent studies indicate that the apple peel has something called ursolic acid which was linked with a lower risk of obesity because it helps boost calorie burn from physical exercise. The peel also contains most of the fiber found in apples.
– Improves Brain Function: Apples have been linked with an increase in acetylcholine production which are neurotransmitters that help nerve cells communicate. This in turn helps improve memory and lowers chances of developing Alzheimer’s.
These facts only scratch at the surface of what apples provide for us nutritionally. I’m always amazed at how much we can get from our food without the aid of supplements or additives, just as nature intended.
The goal for this weeks’ series will stay true to what I have committed on this blog which is to present nutritional information and healthy recipes splashed with my own brand of commentary: sometimes kooky and informative, but hopefully always enjoyable to read and easy to follow.
I hope you’ll join me each day this week from Monday to Friday as I pay homage to this beloved fruit and share fun facts and pictures along the way. Meet me here tomorrow night for the first recipe! 🙂