Saturday, September 18, 2010

"An Apple a Day..."

Apple picking season is in full swing in upstate NY! Now be honest..nothing better than a crisp red delicious apple at the peak of the season! Why not have a family weekend activity revolved around a healthy snack, some fresh air and some physical activity instead of sitting in from of the TV with greasy chips and soda. Head out to the orchards and get picking!
Apples are a great portable healthy snack offering a great number of nutrients including Vitamins A, C, E, folate, potassium, magnesium and calcium to name a few. Also full of antioxidants (everybody knows we all need more of these), phytonutrients and flavanoids that aid in preventing and reducing inflammation.  Apples are known to aid in eye health ad well as playing a role in cancer prevention and benefit maintaining strength of bone. Apples as well as many other fruits provide a good source of fiber, helping maintain a healthy digestive tract and work to lower cholesterol/LDLs.
 Apples and fruit in general play an important role in weight loss programs as they are nutrient dense providing essential nutrients for health but pack relatively few calories, a medium apple containing only 80 calories. Combine an apple with a 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese for protein and you have a great snack combination.  Also consider dipping apple slices in natural peanut butter for some healthy fats and protein (but watch your serving here as PB has a high calorie content).
So head out this weekend and get some apples but try to avoid the cider donuts!

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