An acquired taste for apples
Apples are one of my favorite fruits since my late twenties, before that I considered it to be a very plain fruit, with a simple yet unimpressive flavor. Therefore, I didn’t give much notice to the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” in the beginning, dismissing it without thinking it further. Life, as it usually happens, taught me better.
Firstly I realised that it was just a matter of the kind of apples I was eating!
After moving to France, I began to choose different apples varieties due to the lack of the known ones I used to find in Italy, and I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered my first Pink Lady. The tangy and refreshing flavour with the perfect crunchy consistency exploded in my mouth, I realized I had something to learn about apples, and I quit underestimating them.
That was only the start of the journey of apple appreciation for me, and once I had my health food shop, I came across many other different and delicious apple varieties, learning that a simple apple can compete with juicy strawberries and ripe golden peaches, and that there are so many different apples that you can surely find the one that meet your taste.
The truth behind its fame
Savor and taste aside, when talking about nutritional properties, it is no wonder the apple earned its status of queen of healthy fruits to eat daily!
It’s incredibly easy to digest, you can eat it in any diet you might be on, and it’s possibly the only fruit that is not going to create any issue in case of stomach problem of any sort.
The apple is very rich in vitamins and fibers, preferably you should eat it raw, to avoid any loss of precious substances. Ideally you should eat it without peeling it (Or peeling it as little as possible), as the bigger concentration of flavonoids is in the peel and in the below layer. Quercetin, the flavonoid present in the apples, is easily absorbed by the organism, and has a powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral effects. According to a Finnish study on 9200 people, quercetin is associated with a reduced risk of ictus (-59%), for all people who consume apples on a regular basis. Apples have a protective effect on the cardiovascular system too, particularly on the heart, always thank to the quercetin they contain.
One apple on average weights 100g without the core, and 1 fruit corresponds to 1 of your 5 a day.
Since it does not contain any fat or protein, and a very low amount of sugar, the apple is a good ally if you need to control your weight, as it keeps you full for longer. It’s perfect for people who suffer from diabetes, due to its low sugar levels, and to the fact that our body can metabolize the fructose (the sugar of the fruit) without the use of insulin.
Eaten raw or cooked, thanks to its fiber content, the apple helps regularize the bowel function, whilst when you eat it raw it has astringent properties, very helpful in case of diarrhea. It is the gentlest fruit one can eat in case of digestive problems, and it helps prevent bloating.
How do you eat your apples?
There is plenty of recipes to prepare apples either raw – in fruit salads, smoothies or juices – or cooked – in apple pies, strudels, conserves, oven baked – and really the sky is the limit when talking about apple recipes. It is wonderful as a side for a main meals of pork meat, or game (Have you ever tried the pork fillet with apples? Yummy!). It is incredible as a dessert when cooked with cinnamon weather in a conserve or in a pastry or pie.
I learnt to love apples so much, and I’ve learnt how beneficial they are for my health, that since a couple of years I start my day with an apple. Usually a raw one, but I may indulge in a cooked recipe during the weekend. In this way I am taking care of several things at once: I’m ticking the first of my 5 a day, I’m topping up on antioxidants and fibers since early morning, I’m keeping my body regular, I’m starting with a fruit that will keep me full for longer. And last but not for least, with an apple a day I keep the doctor away, as much as I possibly can.
If you love apples and want to try new ways to prepare them, you might want to check out my delicious apple cake recipe!