An apple a day!

Can an apple a day keep the doctor away?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away! I’ve heardapple the saying my whole life and found that it’s been known for a lot longer than that! The saying originated from a Welsh folk proverb in 1866 and was meant as, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

Although we need to eat more than just an apple to stay healthy, Michigan State University Extension says it’s good to remember the saying as a reminder to eat many different fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet, and apples add great nutritional value. The USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory chart below shows what apples consist of.

Apple nutrition facts
(*One medium 2.5 inch apple, fresh, raw with skin)

*The nutritional value of apples will vary slightly depending on the variety and size.

Calories 81
Carbohydrate 21 grams
Dietary Fiber 4 grams
Soluble Fiber
Insoluble fiber
Calcium 10 mg
Phosphorus 10 mg

Iron .25 mg
Sodium 0.00 mg
Potassium 159 mg
Vitamin C 8 mg
Vitamin A 73 IU
Folate 4 mcg

As you can see, apples have many vitamins and minerals, and when you eat the skin, you get the fiber that your body needs. There are many ways to incorporate apples into your diet:

  • Kid’s love apples, and filling a bowl for the table with various types of apples may be an incentive for them to reach for nutrition instead of sugary or salty treats. Just wash them in clean running water so they’re ready to eat.
  • Apple slices with peanut butter or fruit dip (equal amounts of vanilla yogurt mixed with peanut butter works great) can be a tasty treat for children and adults.
  • Apple dumplings, sauce, tarts, pies, chutneys and breads are great uses, and they can be frozen to be used at a later time. If you need a recipe, look in the SNAP recipe finder. There are many ideas there for you to try.
  • Diced apples cooked in pancake batter with a little cinnamon can be a treat for even the pickiest of eaters.
  • Chop apple pieces into a vegetable or fruit salad. To keep from turning brown, sprinkle them with lemon or pineapple juice.

Apples are so versatile; use your imagination to find ways to use this healthy and local food. This is the time of year that apples are plentiful – choose a date to visit one of Michigan’s U-Pick farms. It will make a memorable family outing with the added benefit of the freshest produce imaginable. If you wonder what type of apple is better than another for cooking or eating, ask a farmer at your nearest farm market or call your local MSU Extension office at 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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