Happy National Apple Week: 7 Health Benefits of This Tasty Fruit
An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
You have heard that quote, right? Well, there is definitely some truth to that. There is a great variety of different apples to try, from sweet to sour – so pick them based on what your palate enjoys.
This week is National Apple Week and a good time to discuss the health benefits of this tasty fruit.
- The pectin in apples helps to lower the LDL cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol. There is some evidence that proves eating 2 apples per day has the capability to lower LDL by as much as 16%.
- Research has shown that the nutrients in the apple, specifically the pectin, quercetin, naringin and other antioxidants help prevent lung, breast, colon and liver cancers.
- There is a flavanoid called phloridzin that is only found in apples that may help increase bone density. This in turn has shown that it would be beneficial for women going through menopause and seniors to help prevent osteoporosis.
- The quercetin in apples show evidence of protecting brain cells and battling free radical damage to fight Alzheimer’s disease.
- Apples also have a variety of phytonutrients that help manage and prevent diabetes, by decreasing the need for insulin and helping to regulate blood sugar.
- Apples are also good for the digestive and gastrointestinal tract secondary to the nutrients and fiber it provides.
- Apples can also help with weight loss. There was a study in Brazil with women that ate 3 apples or pears per day lost more weight than those that did not eat any fruit.
Apple Orchard Fun
Apples are in season in Michigan from July through October. Usually, Michiganders take the opportunity to celebrate apples during the fall season. At that time, there are many different apple orchards where you can go apple picking, purchase apples, cider, donuts and other apple-based products along with enjoying some fun activities.
Here are some of the apple orchards in Michigan that you should check out:
- Almar Orchards and Farms in Flushing, Michigan – This farm is great because it teaches organic farming to the children (and adults). It also makes and sells J.K.’s Scrumpy Hard Cider which is an organic, alcoholic apple cider for adults. Trust me, you will want to pick up a case of this when you are there too.
- Blake Farms in Armada, Michigan – has a cidermill and orchard. In the fall, they also have a haunted barn and hayride for some spooky Halloween fun.
- Friske Orchards in Ellsworth, Michigan – When heading up north, this is a great stop for dining, gift shops and cherry donuts. The orchard is closed on Sundays, but has fun fall activities on Saturdays.
- Jollay Orchards in Coloma, Michigan – This wonderful orchard in southwest Michigan has an abundance of delicious apples and during the fall weekends has a Harvest Festival with activities for the kids too.
- Knaebe’s Mmmunchy Krunchy Apple Farm and Cider Mill in Rogers City, Michigan – One of the only apple orchards in northeast Michigan. It is open during the fall with a variety of apples and apple products.
- Robinette’s Apple Haus and Winery in Grand Rapids, Michigan – It is open year round. It has cider and donuts, but also offers lunch. There is even a mountain bike trail for you bikers. In the fall there is a corn maze and hay rides too.
- Spicer Orchards Farm Market and Cider Mill in Fenton, Michigan – is open all summer as well as in the fall, like most of these farms. In autumn is when the children activities are in full effect,which include a petting zoo, corn maze, to hay rides and a bounce house.
- Westview Orchards and Adventure Farm in Romeo, Michigan – has much more to offer than apples, which you can see in the name. They have special attractions and a carnival that makes this a family affair.
- Yates Cider Mill in Rochester, Michigan – I love this cider mill because it is still powered by water. It does not have an orchard, but getting to watch the old-fashioned process of pressing the apples to make cider is truly an experience. During the fall weekends, there is pony rides for the kids to enjoy.
These are just a few of the apple orchards in Michigan, for more locations check out this Michigan Orchards Directory. Apple picking or visiting one of these wonderful orchards is a fun family activity. What are some of your favorite apple orchards or cider mills that you go to?
I love apples as a quick snack. They have so much to offer as far as health benefits go and they are nature’s fast food. One of my favorite apple varieties is the fuji apple. What is yours?
As a quick dessert, try coring your favorite apple (for this I like to use a granny smith apple or something more tart), and you can keep the skin on. Mix and fill the center with 1 tablespoon of Splenda brown sugar, 2 teaspoons of Brummel and Brown, cinnamon and some oatmeal, put it in the microwave for 2-2.5 minutes for one apple until tender. Let it stand for 5 minutes and you will have the quickest, healthiest and a very delicious version of “apple pie.” I would love to hear about your favorite apple recipes too. Enjoy!
Photo Credit: daisyjellybean