“An apple a day…”
By: Jayda Siggers
We went apple picking a few weekends ago, at a local apple orchard. What do I do with more than 10lbs of apples? Why not dehydrate the apples?! A friend came over and we peeled, cored and sliced (using a mandolin) 10 lbs of apples in about an hour. [Warning: you will get a hand cramp!] We dehydrated the apples for about 10 hours in an Excalibur dehydrator. Ten lbs (1/4 bushel, 1 peck apples) will fill a 9 tray dehydrator. Dehydrated apples can be stored for months in an airtight container or bag.
”Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” – Pembrokeshire Proverb
Taken from a 16th century nursery rhyme;
An apple a day keeps the doctor away,
Apple in the morning – doctor’s warning,
Roast apple at night – starves the doctor outright,
Eat an apple going to bed – knock the doctor on the head,
Three each day, seven days a week – ruddy apple, ruddy cheek.
It seems ‘they’ were on to something back in the 16th century. While it will certainly take more than an apple a day to keep you healthy, it is a step in the right direction.
Apple facts from today’s science:
1. FIBER. Apples are high in fiber. A medium sized apple contains approximately 4 grams of fiber. The recommended daily intake of fiber for a healthy adult is 24-38 grams/day. Adequate and consistent intake of dietary fiber is now known to reduce risk of some of the world’s most prevalent diseases—obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, cardiovascular disease, and numerous gastrointestinal disorders, such constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, hemorrhoids, Crohn’s disease, diverticulitis, and colon cancer.
2. ANTIOXIDANTS. Apples contain vitamin-C and beta carotene. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body. Additionally, apples are also rich in other flavonoids such as quercetin, catechin, and phloridzin. Quercetin, present mainly in apple skins, has been shown to inhibit growth of cancer cells in the lungs, breast, prostate, liver, and colon.
3. VITAMINS. Apples are a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.
4. MINERALS. Apples are a source of potassium, a mineral that supports healthy blood pressure and fluid balance. Apples also have some calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese and selenium. All these minerals promote the health of your bones, muscles and nervous system.
Apples are #1 on the Environmental Working Group’s Shopper’s Guide to pesticides in produce. Whenever possible, choose organically grown apples. Conventionally grown apples contain pesticide residues that accumulate in the skin. Unfortunately, for preservation and aesthetic reasons many apples are coated in wax, making it more difficult to wash off pesticide residues. As a result, many people peel an apple before eating. However, most of the fiber and antioxidants are stored in the apple skin making it the most nutrient dense part of the apple. Purchasing organic apples allows you to eat the whole apple, thereby maximizing your nutrient intake.
6 other (less) interesting facts about apples that I couldn’t resist posting:
The science of growing apples is called pomology.
Apples are a member of the rose family.
A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds.
The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free.
The Norse goddess of youth, Iðunn (Idun, Idunna, Ithun) is often associated and/or depicted with apples.
Jayda Siggers, PhD, has a doctorate degree in Clinical Nutrition.
Currently, she is completing her certification in Holistic Health from
the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York. She blogs at
jaydamomphd.wordpress.com. She is also a Nutrition Counsellor at: