Health and Fitness – An Apple a Day…

Melanie Rovinsky

The temperatures are dropping, the days are shortening, and the leaves are changing. With September in full swing and fall approaching, the temptation to take part in the autumnal beauty is bound to win out over those boring reps inside a stuffy gym. And despite the mass amounts of kettle corn and apple cider doughnuts you are sure to consume, there is one fall activity that you can feel good about: apple picking.

We have all heard the saying. We have all been bombarded with strict instructions to eat the apples Mom packed for us in our lunches. However, what is it that makes this fruit so highly praised?

Helps the Flat Belly Stay
Apples contain a substance called pectin, which is proven to help you lose the pounds and maintain a healthy weight. Pectin slows the emptying of the stomach, successfully keeping you feeling full longer. In addition, apples are a low calorie, fat free fruit. What other food can provide you with up to five grams of fiber in about 80 calories?

Keeps the Cholesterol at Bay
In addition to keeping you thin, apples have also been proven to keep your heart healthy. The soluble fiber found in apples helps lower LDL (bad) cholesterol and regulate blood pressure. The natural phytochemicals in apples have also been shown to help fight heart disease.

Allows You to Play
Apples are full of water, vitamins and minerals, which are all necessary components of a healthy, active lifestyle. Fructose, the type of sugar found in apples, is a simple water-soluble sugar that provides the body with energy. Apples can even help you breathe easier; they are rich in quercetin, a bioflavonoid that alleviates allergies and acts as an anti-inflammatory in your nasal passages.

Keeps the Doctor Away
It turns out Mom was right… an apple a day really can keep you healthy. Apples are full of flavonoids and polyphenols, which are both strong antioxidants that help ward off illnesses and disease. The malic acid found in the fruit has even been shown to promote healthy liver function.

Connecticut is a great place to spend the fall – especially in September, during prime apple-picking season. The state contains over 75 apple orchards; so get out there and start eating!