12:27 Saturday 19 October 2013

The apple of my eye - and heart

Written byHeart Research UK

Apples are one of the most popular fruits in the UK so as it’s Apple Day on the 21st October, we've found plenty of reasons to celebrate this great, inexpensive and versatile crop.

With such a selection of different varieties on offer, all with their own character, it’s no surprise they’re a core part of our culture. They even feature in sayings such as ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away’, ‘the apple of my eye’ and ‘one bad apple spoils the barrel’. 

They’re often the first choice picked from the fruit bowl and have played a part in stories from William Tell to helping Isaac Newton figure out gravity.

  • Apples are rich in fibre, nutrients and antioxidants and, as part of a varied, healthy diet can help to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. 

  • Recent research has shown that eating whole fruit like apples, blueberries and grapes also helps to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes, a risk factor for heart disease.

  • Apples are rich in flavonoids and vitamin C which are both known for their antioxidant effects and eating the peel will help you get six times more antioxidants than if you remove it. 

  • Apples are low in calories: a medium sized one provides between 70-100 calories and these are not ‘empty calories’ unlike the 86 calories a chocolate digestive biscuit would give you. 

  • Some recent research from New Zealand has also suggested that consuming fruit like apples can help with the emotional wellbeing of young healthy adults.

You can eat them in many different ways from raw, grated or juiced to baked, stewed or pureed. Try good old favourite varieties like Cox’s Orange Pippin, or newer exciting ones like Kanzi apples and put some cooking apples on your shopping list. 

Include an apple in some of your packed lunches, keep one in the car, add them to salads and curries or turn them into pies and puddings, keeping an eye on how much sugar and fat you use.

Apples come in many flavours and colours and their taste can vary greatly. So, don’t get pipped at the post when it comes to good health, there’s an apple that ap-peels to everyone to ensure you get your five-a-day which is a must for heart health.

For more information and advice about healthy living, contact Heart Research UK via email lifestyle@heartresearch.org.uk

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