Apple is a great addition to any lunchbox, for children as well as adults and provide fantastic health benefits! They’re packed full of real, ‘living’ nutritional benefits, that so many of the overly-processed, ‘lifeless’ snacks often lack. In addition to the all-important vitamins and minerals, apples also contain dietary fibre and antioxidants…. but will they really keep the Doctor away, as the old saying goes?
Evidence Based Studies:
Many studies have been conducted over the years and the benefits of apples are indisputable. The increasing pool of scientific evidence suggests that cancer-inducing oxidative damage is preventable, largely by the presence of plant-based antioxidants.
One of the most significant findings, is the inverse correlation between the number of servings of apples each day and the risk of developing colorectal cancer, which is the second most common malignancy in both men and women in developed countries.
In addition to being the fruit most significantly associated with altering the risk of colorectal cancer, apples have also been associated with a reduced risk of other cancers, including mouth, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, breast, ovary and prostate.
Other Health Benefits:
Apples also contribute towards the following health benefits, including (but not limited to):
- Regulate blood sugar levels and prevent diabetes.
- Reduce total cholesterol levels and prevent cardiovascular disease.
- Improve satiety and assist in managing a healthy weight.
- Support digestive health and prevent constipation.
- Improve neurological functioning & prevent cell damage associated with dementia.
Data analysis conducted over a four (4) year period confirmed that regular consumers of apples were less likely to require regular visits to their Doctor (although this was not statistically significant), and they were also more likely to successfully avoid the need for prescription medication. That in itself is a great outcome!
Selection and Storage:
In Australia, we’re fortunate to have many ‘in-season’ varieties of apples available to us all year round. From sweet and juicy, firm and zingy, right through to the distinctly tart varieties, there’s sure to be an apple that suits everyone’s taste.
When purchasing apples, select fruit with firm, smooth and brightly coloured skin that is free from visible blemishes. The skin should not wrinkle when firmly rubbed and the flesh should resist pressure when lightly pressed.
Before making their way into a lunchbox or handbag, they are best stored in the refrigerator for up to a month, to remain fresh and crisp. They may taste more flavourful however, when consumed at room temperature.
Although sliced apples can turn brown with exposure to oxygen, this can be minimised with a squeeze of lemon juice (or lemon juice diluted in water), which then adds a zesty flavour hit to the sweetness of the flesh.
In their convenient, healthy, nutritious, and fully biodegradable packaging, raw apples are a perfect snack just as they are! They can also be sliced or grated into salads, served with nut spreads or cheese or added to delicious desserts, cakes, pies, tarts or muffins.
Apples can also be dried and eaten as a tasty snack or reconstituted for later use. And they can be pureed and used as butter and jellies or transformed into a tasty accompaniment for a variety of savoury meat dishes, in particular, roast pork.
So, pop some apples in your trolley next time you do your groceries…. they’re economical, versatile and may even help to keep the Doctor, the Pharmacist and the Oncologist away!