Nutrition: Apples

An apple a day keeps the doctor away!

By Eric Chen, WAC Nutritionist and Wellness Coach

Did you know apples are the largest agricultural product grown in Washington State? The state harvests 10–12 billion apples per year, all of which are picked by hand! Best of all, they are finally in season and ready to eat. Let’s take a glance at apples and cover a few great ways to incorporate these delicious treats into your day.

First off, one large apple provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value of dietary fiber and also has vitamin C, potassium, and various other minerals with no fat, sodium, or cholesterol. Many of these powerful antioxidants are found in the peel so if you’re in it for the health benefits, skip applesauce and juice. To really enjoy your apples, keep them chilled. The sugar molecules in apples change with temperature so cold apples taste sweeter than a room temperature one (try cutting an apple in half and see for yourself!).

In the past, the Red Delicious was the most popular apple out there but with cross pollination and agriculture technology, a few new types of apples have started to take up more of the market shares. My current favorite are Honeycrisps, which are in high demand because of their amazingly juicy sweet taste and crisp texture. Jonagolds or Granny Smiths are good for baking because they hold their structure during cooking.

Coming in 2019, you may start seeing a new type of apple called the Cosmic Crisp. This variety was developed at Washington State University and is getting ready for distribution to farmers this year. From flavor to texture, this new crop has everything we could ask for while having the ability to maintain its freshness for up to a year in controlled storage. Happy apple eating!

—Published October 4, 2017

 

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