“An Apple a Day….. Really?”
by Cindy Collins, PhD, RD
More than 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
We as Americans, eat approximately 50 pounds per person a year!
The good news is that the apple has plentiful fiber, both soluble and insoluble. It is full of
phytochemicals particularly flavonoids which contain the antioxidant quercetin.
Follow up studies from the Nurses’s Health and Health Professionals Study showed a reduced risk of lung cancer in women who eat 1 apple per day. The quercetin in apples is
associated with the reduced risk by researchers in Finland.
Apples are one of those foods that may be best eaten and purchased if they are
organically grown. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) lists them as one fo the “dirty dozen” due to pesticide contamination. The varieties of apples with the highest concentration of antioxidants include Red Delicious, Northern Spy and Ida Red.
In addition, there is a 5 fold increased concentration in the skin versus the flesh.
Apples can be eaten in a variety of ways, including adding them to the mix of roasted or sautéed veggies, while cooking dinner. Make a topping to substitute for syrups. Use apple butter to add moisture to baked goods. Snack on apple chips or sliced apples. And naturally, don’t forget the apple pie!
** Word of Advise: women who have had or at risk for estrogen-induced breast tumors may need to refrain from quercetin in the diet.