Published on October 27, 2016

Living Well: Feast On Fall’s Favorite Fruit

Fall is one of the greatest times of the year. Not only is it the welcome of cooler weather, but is also a great time for getting together with family and cooking with the tasty produce that is in season. Apples are an autumn staple that have a wide variety of uses around this time of year. Luckily, not only do they taste great, but there are also a wide range of health-related reasons to partake of this fruit.

You’ve probably heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” While this cannot be promised, apples do provide numerous health benefits, as reported in the Nutrition Journal. These nutritional qualities from this delicious fruit make it that much sweeter:

  • Apples contain phytochemicals, which help to prevent chronic diseases and cancer cell replication.
  • Apples are also rich in antioxidants that help protect against oxidative stress and show a positive impact on general pulmonary health.
  • Apples have been linked with decreased risk of Type II diabetes and have been shown to have a protective effect against cardiovascular diseases, stemming from the apples’ potential cholesterol-lowering ability.

One of the best things about apples is that they can be used in many ways. A great way to enjoy this delicious fruit is sliced or whole as a snack. Add peanut butter to slices or serve with cheese and crackers to add extra protein, which can help you feel satisfied for longer. Other ways to incorporate apples into your diet include diced and tossed into a vinaigrette walnut salad, baked alongside pork or poultry, or chopped and added to stuffing or sauces. Of course, this sweet treat can also be baked into delicious fruit desserts such as, breads, muffins, cobblers and pies.

Through proper handling and storage, apples will remain fresh and crisp for enjoyment. To enjoy this fruit at its peak, it should be handled and stored properly. Here are some tips for enjoying your apples to the fullest:

  • Apples should not be washed until ready to eat; as this will help them stay fresh and crisp longer.
  • Keeping apples at room temperature will cause them to ripen and get softer faster. They should be stored in the refrigerator until ready to eat.
  • Apples should be rinsed in cool water. Then, pat dry with a paper towel when ready to enjoy. Another good tip is to squeeze lemon juice on freshly sliced apples. The ascorbic acid (better known as Vitamin C) in the lemons will prevent the slices from turning brown.

There’s no doubt that apples are a fun and tasty way to sweeten up the fall season. Don’t be afraid to look for recipes and experiment with new ways to enjoy this fruit, and then share them with friends and family. You’re probably not the only one who will find them appealing!

Kara Natchus is a Western Kentucky University dietetic intern, currently completing clinical rotations at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital. Kara received her Bachelor’s degree in Dietetics from Virginia Tech. She enjoys training for and running marathons in her spare time.

This article originally appeared in the Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer.

About Owensboro Health

Owensboro Health is a nonprofit health system with a mission to heal the sick and to improve the health of the communities it serves in Kentucky and Indiana. The system includes Owensboro Health Regional Hospital, nationally recognized for design, architecture and engineering; Owensboro Health Muhlenberg Community Hospital, the Owensboro Health Medical Group comprised of over 200 providers at more than 20 locations; three outpatient Healthplex facilities, a certified medical fitness facility, the Healthpark; a surgical weight loss center and program, and the Mitchell Memorial Cancer Center.

On average each year, we have 16,000 inpatient admissions, deliver 2,000 babies and provide the region’s only Level III NICU. Owensboro Health physicians perform nearly 24,000 surgical procedures, including nearly 200 open-heart surgeries. Our physicians and staff have 70,000 Emergency Department visits, more than a million outpatient visits annually. Visit our home page for more information.

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