Apples, Fresh for the Picking

Great British Apples ©

You can’t beat eating home-grown produce when it’s at the peak of its seasonal best – and certain varieties of apples are perfect right now. They are the ideal snack when the hunger pangs kick in, providing a whole host of nutritional and health benefits.

Registered Dietitian Helen Bond shares some of the reasons why we should be adding Great British Apples to our supermarket trolley.

“It’s important to drink plenty of water each day, with a recommended 1.6 litres for women and 2 litres for men. But did you know that around 20-30% of our daily fluid needs come from food?” Helen asks. “Apples are about 86% water, so contribute towards your daily hydration. For a juicier tasting apple, try Braeburn, in season December to May, or a Royal Gala, in season September to May.

“Apples are the kind of fruit that our waistlines love. Packing in quite a bit of fibre (1.8g per medium apple) for a modest amount of calories (77 calories), which makes apples a filling, naturally sweet snack that you can enjoy morning, noon and night.

“Satisfying hunger for few calories, it’s not surprising that apples can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet that promotes weight maintenance or loss. Apples also contain prebiotic fibre pectin, which help to feed our gut flora, supporting them to grow and flourish, so they can regulate every aspect of our digestive health effectively.

“Apples also have a low glycaemic index (GI) of 38 and a low glycaemic load (GL) of 4, which means that they release their energy more slowly, so they don’t cause the blood sugar spikes and drops that can leave us craving sugary snacks.

“According to a Finnish study of 10,000 people,” Helen adds, “apple eaters could have a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The study showed those who frequently ate apples had a lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared with non-apple eaters.”

Looking for more seasonal produce to add to your shopping list? Why not try Brussels sprouts, kale, leeks, beetroot, parsnips and swede?

Read more tops tips and interesting bits on our website’s Health Pages.

Discover the dietary benefits of eating cranberries in our December 8 issue, on sale Wednesday, December 5!

Yvonne McKenzie

Yvonne works on the Features team and admits to being nosy, so loves looking after the Between Friends letters and finding out all about our lovely readers. She also looks after our health copy and enjoys writing about inspiring people that help make the articles in the magazine so interesting.