family of three picking apples in the fall

Grandparents and their grandson choosing applesThe days here in the Kentuckiana region are beginning to shorten. The weather is hinting at the coming fall with cool mornings. Summer is coming to a close, but there is still plenty of fresh produce to be found, in fact, early fall is perfect apple picking weather! The old saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Why is that? Are apples really that healthy? Well, there is no magic, cure-all food or supplement. But, apples are chock full of nutritional benefits. Let’s explore!

Fiber: Apples (especially if you eat the skin) are an excellent source of fiber. One medium apple contains roughly 5-6 grams of fiber (4 grams of soluble and 2 grams of insoluble). Fiber helps fill you up and keeps you full longer, it is an essential part of a healthy digestive track. Fiber also helps lower cholesterol levels, controlling glucose levels, and maintaining a healthy weight.

Antioxidants: Apples range in a variety of colors; bright red, yellow, green, pink, but did you know that with those various pigments come a variety of beneficial antioxidants? Antioxidants seek out and destroy the free radicals in the body, which can lead to adverse health conditions like cancer. Don’t throw away the skin of the apple because that is the biggest supplier of those beneficial antioxidants in the fruit.

Low in calories: These days you can find apples the size of softballs in the produce section, but a 1 serving sized apple (about the size of a tennis ball or your fist) contains only about 50 calories! Many processed snacks contain twice that and give you half the volume of food. The high fiber of the apple will also fill you up more, helping to prevent you from over-eating.

Find some healthy alternatives to preparing yummy apple recipes and more here:

Also, please check out the links listed below to find out more about the health benefits of fiber and apples and what other produce is in season this time of year in our area. Happy Eating!

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Susan Wilson, R.D.

Susan Wilson is a registered dietitian with UofL Physicians – Pediatric Gastroenterology. She received her bachelor’s degree in dietetics from the University of Kentucky, and her dietetic practicum rotations through Cedar Crest College in Allentown, Pa. She is currently working on completing her master’s in public health promotion. She has served on the Kentucky Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics board of directors for the past two years. Wilson’s daughter has a nut and peanut allergy. This firsthand knowledge helps her as she works with her patients with food allergies, intolerance or any other condition where a restrictive diet is required. When she has any downtime, she enjoys jogging, working in her garden, and traveling to new places.

All posts by Susan Wilson, R.D.
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