Winter is the time for apples, and we all know the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”, but you may be surprised to learn that apples are indeed one of the best fruits to keep us healthy and improve life expectancy. In a recent Australian study where 1,456 women aged 70 to 85 were tracked for 15 years; researchers found women who ate more than 100 grams – or one small apple – a day were likely to have a longer life expectancy than those who ate less than five grams a day, or up to 15 apples a year1. Apples have been shown to prevent colon cancer, two apples consumed daily reduces the risk of colon cancer by 50%2.
Apples can also reduce cardiovascular risk due to their antioxidant properties and lipid-lowering effects 2. “We found that flavonoid-rich apples improve blood vessel relaxation and enhance nitric oxide status – the molecule that causes blood vessel relaxation. A reduced ability of the blood vessels to relax may cause high blood pressure and heart disease.” UWA Research Professor Jonathan Hodgson.
Apple juice concentrate is also known to improve cognitive performance and reduce neurodegeneration and other signs of brain aging as well as improving processes associated with the risk of Alzheimer’s disease2.
Diabetes and the risk of diabetes is reduced when consuming 2-6 apples a week compared with no apple consumption. The polyphenol components in apples are thought to help with blood glucose control through a protective effect on pancreatic b-cells2.
Apples are also a good source of pectin, which is a prebiotic fibre that improves the health of our digestive system and feeds the good bacteria. Pectin slows the release of carbohydrate which improves our insulin response, helps us feel fuller longer. Pectin also helps heal the cells of the digestive tract, improving our absorption 3,4
Apples are a good source of magnesium, potassium, vitamin C and flavonoids, which are concentrated in the skin, so make sure you are eating the skin too.
I am off to get some yummy organic apples and try this recipe which I found, will let you know how it goes 🙂
Baked Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Recipe
makes 4-6 slices, depending on size
gluten free, dairy free, egg free, refined sugar free, clean eating recipe, low fat, nut free, soy free, freezer friendly and the perfect meal prep recipe!
1 cup (240g) applesauce#
3/4 cup milk of your choice
2 tbsp maple syrup or sweetener/sugar of your choice*
2 1/2 cups (225g) steel cut oats
1 large or 2 small apples, washed and sliced into cubes (best to leave the skin on for all the health benefits)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 180C
Line an 8×8″ or 9×13″ cake tin or baking pan with baking paper and set aside.
In a medium-large mixing bowl, combine your applesauce, milk and maple syrup and mix to combine.
Mix in your oats, apples, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon, mixing until all of your oats are covered and your ingredients are mixed through.
Pour your oat mixture into your prepared tin and smooth out with a spatula or back of a spoon, ensuring the mix is evenly spread out.
Bake for 15-25 minutes or until cooked through and lightly golden. Cooking times will vary depending on the thickness of your baked oatmeal so keep an eye on it and take it out once it’s cooked through and firm to touch. A skewer inserted into the middle of the oatmeal will remove with a few moist crumbs.
*We usually only add 1-2 tbsp of maple syrup as we find it sweet enough with the applesauce, apple chunks and sweet toppings. Feel free to add more if you’d like a sweeter slice! Recipe from http://www.southerninlaw.com/2017/01/healthy-vegan-apple-cinnamon-baked-oatmeal-recipe.html
#applesause is easy to make just take a cup of apples, a tablespoon of cinnamon and 3/4 cup of water. In a saucepan, combine apples, water and cinnamon. Cover, and cook over medium heat for 15 to 20 minutes, or until apples are soft. Allow to cool, then mash with a fork or potato masher.
- Hodgson, J., Prince, R., Woodman, R., Bondonno, C., Ivey, K., Bondonno, N., . . . Lewis, J. (2016). Apple intake is inversely associated with all-cause and disease-specific mortality in elderly women. British Journal of Nutrition, 115(5), 860-867. doi:10.1017/S0007114515005231
- Hyson, D. A. (2011). A Comprehensive Review of Apples and Apple Components and Their Relationship to Human Health. Advances in Nutrition, 2(5), 408–420. http://doi.org/10.3945/an.111.000513
- Jiang, T., Gao, X., Wu, C., Tian, F., Lei, Q., Bi, J., … Wang, X. (2016). Apple-Derived Pectin Modulates Gut Microbiota, Improves Gut Barrier Function, and Attenuates Metabolic Endotoxemia in Rats with Diet-Induced Obesity. Nutrients, 8(3), 126. http://doi.org/10.3390/nu8030126
- Sureban, S. M., May, R., Qu, D., Chandrakesan, P., Weygant, N., Ali, N., … Houchen, C. W. (2015). Dietary Pectin Increases Intestinal Crypt Stem Cell Survival following Radiation Injury. PLoS ONE, 10(8), e0135561. http://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0135561