7 Health Benefits of Apples

Do apples make you skinny? That’s what I have heard from some time. Whether they do or not, apples are in abundance right now, and I love cooking and eating them. My daughter, Leigh, fractured her foot last week at dance (this is the 3rd fracture she has had in a year-ughhh). I told her yesterday, “Maybe you should start eating apples since they are good for bone health”, and it made me think of writing this post on the 7 Health Benefits of Eating Apples:

1. Apples make you feel full (or skinny?)-I heard that apples can make you skinny, but perhaps it’s the fiber in an apple that keeps you feeling full longer. There are about 95 calories in a medium-sized apple, and they take our bodies longer to digest since they are made with complex fiber. One component of an apple’s peel is something called ursolic acid, which was been linked to a lower risk of obesity in a recent study in mice. Also, applesauce is also a great healthy substitute for baked goods. Try substituting it for half of the butter and oil in many dessert pr baked recipes.

2. Apples can lower cholesterol- Apples are one of the top fruits with plenty of pectin, a soluble fiber that reduces cholesterol. Pectin prevents cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing the risk of arteriosclerosis and heart disease.

3. Apples are a good memory booster- Apples have quercetin which may protect brain cells, help improve your memory and lower your chances of developing Alzheimer’s.

4. Apples help reduce blood sugar– The polyphenols in apples can influence the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and help achieve normal glucose levels.

5. Apples have anti cancer benefits- Studies have showed that apples can also help protect against colon cancer from a chemical in apples. Another in 2007 also found additional compounds, called triterpenoids, which seem to fight against liver, colon, and breast cancers.

6. Apples can protect bones-Apples contain phloridzin that is said to increase bone density and boron that strengthens bones.

 7. Apples can help reduce and prevent Asthma– Studies link a higher intake of vitamin C with improved asthma. Another study, discovered adults and children who consumed apples or apple juice every day also reduced their risk of asthmatic attacks.
Also studies show that women who eat plenty of apples are less likely to have children with asthma.

Charoseth or Haroseth Traditional for Passover

I have to apologize that I am slightly behind on my Passover recipes to share with you. I was at the Mom 2 Summit conference last week in New Orleans attending and speaking, and I honestly got behind. Many friends have been asking me about traditional Passover foods and the Passover Seder, so I must share this simple recipe for Haroseth (also spelled and pronounced Charoseth). This mixture of wine, nuts and apples is a symbol of the mortar used by the Israelites to bond bricks while they were in slavery in Egypt. It is traditional to serve this with matzoh during the Seder meal with, and without, horseradish. It has an awesome flavor, and it is always is a hit!

Breakfast Quinoa with Cranberries and Apples

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wah) is the wonder grain and one of the best plant sources of protein. It’s loaded with protein, fiber and is gluten-free. It’s so versatile, and when my sister came across this recipe in Ellie Krieger’s book, “So Easy”, she told me I had to test it out. I changed the recipe slightly using Pink Lady apples, more cranberries and walnuts instead of pecans. It was out of this world. Her recipe suggests to top it with milk, honey and cinnamon, but it was great all by itself. I love it because it’s so easy, filling and has no added sugar. It’s also bursting with great flavor. My kids loved it too, and I enjoyed serving them a hot healthy breakfast.

5 Ingredient Appetizer: Fig and Walnut Chutney

In honor of the “Oscars” tonight, here’s a simple and quick appetizer recipe that is sure to please. With only 5 ingredients, This Fig and Walnut Chutney is awesome served with sliced apples, grapes, crackers and Gorgonzola cheese. In under 20 minutes, you will have a superstar appetizer that your guests (and/or family) will love. This recipe also works well with goat or feta cheese so feel free to substitute your favorite. Not only is this appetizer healthy, but it’s low in fat. It’s a great, quick appetizer recipe to serve for any holiday or entertaining occasion. Happy Oscars night everyone, and I hope your movies/actors win!