An Apple a Day…

There is nothing quite like the apple right off the tree.

Today we can get many fruits year round including apples. But, there just seems to be something fresh about the Red Delicious, Granny Smith or Champagne apple THIS time of year that you don’t get from the store: a caramel apple at the State Fair, picking apples in the orchard, or bobbing for apples (it is tough, there is a trick). 

The expression, “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away” is pretty true, assuming you are eating an overall healthy diet and exercising regularly too. Even though apples don’t have a high amount of vitamin C like the orange, or much of a lot of vitamins and minerals, it also does not have a lot of calories: a medium apple (~3” diameter) is about 95 calories and 4.5 g fiber. Fiber can help with regularity, which can help reduce risk of colon cancer. Fiber is also linked with controlling cholesterol levels, blood sugar levels, and weight management. 

Apples are also loaded with phytochemicals, most notably powerful antioxidants. These plant compounds are linked to reducing the risk of cancer, and potentially many other diseases. Research is ongoing in this area, but it isn’t likely those apples are harmful. No, not even the seeds, which do contain a cyanide compound in such small amounts, that even if you ate a pound of apples including the seeds, your body can handle it. 

Which apples? They are all good, assuming that you haven’t peeled them, loaded them with sugar, and slapped a pie crust or a layer of crisp on top of them. 

New Mexico Apples 

In a handful of the places I have lived, from Washington State to Maine, and even here in New Mexico we are able to get our own apples straight from the orchard. While Washington is known for their apples, New Mexico has our own famous apples: Dixon Apples – home of the famous Champagne and Sparkling Burgundy apples. These apples are not sold in stores; you have to go to the orchard to pick them up. There are lines: lines of cars to get to the orchard and lines of people to get into the building. But once you get into the building you can buy ½ bushel bags (about 22 pounds) and gallons of cider. Pack a picnic, and after you have made your purchases you can sit among the apple trees and watch the other people in line, or turn your back to them and enjoy the scenery. 

Enjoy those apples and their health benefits! 

Disclaimer: I have no connection with Dixon Apples, no discount or anything. I’m just a fan.

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