What if I told you about a super fruit that you can find at almost any corner store, that won’t break the bank, and you can toss straight in your bag as you head out the door? Not only does this wonder food actually exist, but chances are you’ve eaten it before—many times.
Yes, I’m talking about…apples.
You read that right. The simple fruit you’ve eaten since the days when mom packed your lunch deserves a second look—and a starring role in your snack routine. In addition to being sweet and delicious, apples serve up many serious, science-backed health benefits. Especially when it comes to red-skinned varieties, which are loaded with antioxidant compounds. They’re also irresistibly crisp and juicy.
Here are five reasons why they make the best between-meal nibble, along with some satisfying ways to serve them.
1. They’ll curb your cravings without spiking your blood sugar.
If apples came with a label it might read: “Keeps your sweet tooth happy—without making your body feel crappy!”
A little corny, maybe, but it’s true.
While those cookies might seem like a good idea mid-afternoon when you hit a slump, an hour later your energy is lagging again and you’re addicted for another treat. That’s not the case with apples, whose natural sugars come packaged with fiber to slow your body’s absorption of the sugars to give you energy that lasts.
2. They’ll fill you up for real.
Speaking of fiber, apples have more than almost any other fruit, according to the Mayo Clinic. A medium apple with the skin packs nearly 5g (around 20% of what you need in a day). And that roughage digests slowly and takes up lots of space in your stomach—so you fill up quickly and stay satisfied.
3. And speaking of weight, they might help you lose a little.
In addition to the ability to fight junky cravings and fill you up, apples are packed with polyphenols that research suggests could fight fat. Add it all up, and it’s no wonder that making these fruits your go-to snack could help you reach your weight-loss goals. In fact, one study published in the journal Appetite found that overweight women who added three apples a day to their usual diet lost an average of 2 pounds over 10 weeks.
4. They’ll keep the doctor away (really).
And apples are a particularly good choice, especially the skins, contain polyphenols and antioxidants that are known for protecting against oxidative stress associated with chronic diseases. Red apples, in particular, boast a range of health-boosting compounds such as hydroxycinnamates, flavanols, and anthocyanins, research shows.
In other words? It’s more than worth your while to have one a day.
5. They’re the little black dress of your snack stash.
Since apples come naturally packaged and can sit at room temperature, they’re the snack that works any place, anytime. And when it comes to picking healthy snacks, that matters a whole lot. Apples are not only incredibly delicious, but they are also the perfect size for snacking so there are no leftovers and they keep incredibly well in the fridge so there is less spoilage.
Best of all? You’ve got sky-high versatility when it comes to serving ideas. While sometimes a crunchy apple, plain and simple, is all you need to hit the spot, pairing your apple with some protein and healthy fat makes it more filling—and keeps things interesting on the flavor front. I am a big fan of crunchy juicy apples, their balanced, tangy-sweet flavor goes with just about everything.
Interested in adding more apples into your snack routine? Here are some tasty ideas to try:
Feel-Good Apple and Orange Salad Recipe
For Salad Dressing:
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp vinegar
- 4 tbsp orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 2 oranges peeled, seeded, sectioned and chopped
- 3 red apples cored and cut into small pieces
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- few mint leaves chopped (optional)
- In a large bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, orange juice, salt and black pepper.
- Set it aside.
- Peel the orange and cut it into small pieces.
- Core the apples and cut them in small pieces.
- Add the oranges, apples, walnuts to the bowl with raisins.
- Toss everything together very well.
- Adjust the seasoning.
- If desired, garnish with fresh mint leaves.
- Delicious Apple and Orange Salad is ready to serve.
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