All About Apples!

All About Apples!

Apple season is in full swing here in the northeast! My kids fill up with anticipation this time of year for our annual trip to the apple orchard to go apple picking. I love it, too, because I get the most gorgeous pictures of the kids with the crisp autumn sunshine and leaves changing colors as the backdrop. This year, we even came upon a few peach trees! That was a first considering peach season ended in July. We went this past Sunday and hiked through the apple orchard for a few hours, picking apples and learning about all the different kinds (Cortland, Macoun, Golden Delicious, Gala, etc...) It really is one of the joys of childhood; good seasonal family fun here in New England.

What many people don't realize about apples is that they really are one of the healthiest fruits you can eat! There is some truth to the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away." While it seems like such an ordinary fruit, the current research on apples is painting a much different picture. Apples contain a specific type of fiber called soluble fiber. Soluble fiber is capable of absorbing dietary blood fat and carrying it out of our bodies. This is crucial in preventing blood lipids from forming arterial build up. This is precisely what causes blockages and heart attacks. Apples are proving to do the same thing that Statins - also known as cholesterol-lowering drugs - do! Perhaps everyone with cardiac risk (either personal of familial) should start their day with an apple! Or at least an apple-based NutriBlast!

Apples also contain a high level of phytonutrients and flavonoids. These two components are found to play a crucial role in preventing certain types of cancer. Research is currently pointing to the prevention of lung cancer, breast cancer and colon cancer. Much more research is currently being conducted on this exciting find. I’m very eager to learn the results.

Apples are also shown to naturally regulate blood sugar levels. The polyphenols in apples slow down the absorption of glucose in the intestines, which, in turn, slows down insulin release and helps to control blood sugar surges and deficits. This is very interesting for not only Type 1 and Type 2 diabetics, but for individuals who are interested in losing weight, children with an attention deficit diagnosis, as well as endurance athletes and those interested in overall wellness. Most individuals could benefit substantially from blood sugar regulation in that it affects how we feel on a daily basis in regards to energy levels and general metabolic benefits.

Interestingly enough, the majority of the nutritional benefits of apples are found in the skin. Another reason to keep the skin on when you are making your NutriBlasts! The majority of the phytonutrients are found in the skin of the apple and the darker and more uniform the color of the skin, the more phytonutrients are present.

Still not enough reasons to eat apples? I’ll give you one more. Apple pie is equally as American as the Stars and Stripes, so I've created an Apple Pie NutriBlast for you to experiment with. You can alter the ingredients based on your taste preference, but whatever you do, don’t remove the skin from the apple! This Blast gives you yet another way to enjoy this powerfully nutritious seasonal fruit.

Thanks to the NutriBullet, consuming the skin is easy because the nutrients from the skin are extracted into the Blast. I just love this because so often, children refuse to eat the skin. It is incredibly frustrating as a parent and as an educator who works with children having to throw away apple skin! Now it’s simple, the skin is conveniently hidden in a Blast! Shhhhh - don’t tell the kids!

Apple Pie a la mode Blast

Ingredients

  • 1 sliced apple (keep skin on)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 5 walnuts
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 3 oz vanilla Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup skim milk (you can substitute any milk substitute, such as almond milk, as well)
  • 2 large ice cubes

Directions

Combine all ingredients into your NutriBullet and Blast! Enjoy straight from your NutriBullet cup or make it fun and festive by serving in a glass dish with 2 organic graham crackers and a slice of apple sprinkled with cinnamon as garnish. It’s festive, fun and delicious!

Registered Dietitian, Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics, Triathlon Coach


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