Apples: The Clark Kent of Super Foods

Apples: The Clark Kent of Super Foods

We’ve all heard that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” but that saying is as common as the fruit itself, so it’s easy to overlook just what a hero the apple is. Like Clark Kent disguising Superman's true powers, the apple is your mild-mannered daily super food.

This is a timely topic, because we’ve just seen Royal Galas apples hit the stores, heralding the start of the Australian apple season.

One of the top five varieties, Royal Galas are the first to be picked with other popular varieties such as Red Delicious and Pink Lady to follow in the coming months. So with apple season about to reach full force (although remember, they are available year-round thanks to refrigeration), it’s worth a closer look into this fruit staple.

A CSIRO review, The 2010 Apple Report, found that eating apples can have a big impact on our health from lowering cholesterol, to managing your appetite, to reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes and asthma.

Apples have one of the highest levels of antioxidants of any popular Australian fruit. Antioxidants are important in our diet as they can neutralise those damaging nasties caused by diet, stress, smoking, alcohol, exercise, inflammation or exposure to sunlight and air pollutants.

Eating an apple at the start of a meal can help with weight management by reducing your energy intake, and eating one as a snack can help leave you feeling full and less likely to overindulge on not-so-good foods.

It doesn’t stop there either. Apples are an awesome source of dietary fibre which helps with the digestive track. They are great for cardiovascular health, and by eating an apple a day, can lower cholesterol by 5-8%. The incidence of type 2 diabetes has also been found to be lower in people who eat apples regularly.

So with all these great health benefits, you’ll want to be sure you’re get the most nutrition out of your apples. The first rule of thumb, put the peeler down and keep the skin on. This is where most of the healthy compounds are found. An apple peel contains up to nine times more antioxidants than the flesh, and the darker and redder the apple, the higher the levels of antioxidants. So Snow White certainly had the right idea (except for the poison, of course).

Another important factor to getting the most out of your apple, is the way you store them. According to a Newspoll study, 50% of Australians keep their apples in the fridge and 50% keep them in the fruit bowl. While they look great in a fruit bowl, it is better to store apples in the fridge. The cool temperature keeps them fresh and helps to retain all those good antioxidants.

On top of all this, apples are simple to eat, affordable, low in kilojoules, low GI, plus they don’t contain any salt, fat or cholesterol. In fact, an apple doesn’t contain anything at all that we don’t need. That’s right, nothing bad at all.

So keep that doctor at bay, check out your nearest online store and get this season’s apples delivered fresh to your door.