I kinda blew it on this topic with my timing. I meant to blog about the benefit of apples when they were in season this fall, but time kind of got away from me as it always seems to do. Don't get me wrong, any day of the week, you can just waltz into the grocery store and buy apples, but there's just something about getting apples while they're in season that makes them taste that much better. According to Wikipedia, there are over 7,500 different cultivators of apples. That's insane! Can you even imagine going to a farmer's market and getting an eye full of what that would look like? I get overwhelmed when I go to the Nashville one and there's about 10-15 different varieties to choose from! The uses for apples are equally endless -- you can make pies and pastries with them -- cook with them -- makes jams and jellies -- use them for smoothies or for juicing -- use them in homemade cider -- and so on and so forth. My favorite of all is just eating them straight from a tree! Or grocery store, depending on what's available :)

Just a fun little chart to show you the most popular varieties in the States.
As far as the health benefits of apples are concerned, they're pretty standard give or take the extra benefits you'd get from the different colors. You've always heard the saying 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away', but why is that? The pectin from apples (and fiber in apple skins) was found to reduce the chances of getting colon cancer and help keep a clean digestive tract. They've also been known to reduce chances of breast, liver and lung cancer if eaten on a regular daily basis. Apples also supply galacturonic acid which helps lower insulin levels and help manage diabetes. They reduce cholesterol levels and help you keep a healthy heart. Apples can either help with diarrhea or constipation depending on which you suffer from. When giving it to children, you should always mix it equally or more with water to avoid runny stools. The excessive fiber found in apples also helps those that suffer from IBS and it's symptoms. Also due to the high fiber, you're less likely to strain when going to the bathroom thus eliminating your chances of getting pesky hemorrhoids. Apples can help with bad bacteria in your mouth that can result in tooth decay but generating saliva in your mouth to wash it away. Studies have shown that those eating a high apple enhanced diet had reduced risk of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease. And lastly, due to the high levels of antioxidants found in apples, you are less likely to develop cataracts in your peepers!

I don't know about you, but I think a diet full of apples is really a win-win situation. Not only do you have a ton of ways that you can consume them, including dipping them in peanut butter or caramel, but they're so incredibly refreshing to the taste and amazing for our bodies! 

I found this chart a year or so ago when I was thinking about canning some apple jams
and jellies. I wish I could remember where it came from because I'm sure they had a ton of
other useful information on their site! ENJOY!

Whose up for trying to eat an apple or more a day for the next month? I can't see where it would hurt!

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