Research continues to prove the “apple a day” mantra is more than an old wives’ tale. Lucas Green reveals why.
With more than 7000 varieties grown worldwide, apples are one of people’s favorite fruits. About 2.6 billion of them are grown here every year, and there are dozens of good reasons to eat them. They’re packed full of antioxidants, dietary fiber and, with a low GI, research has shown they offer protection against everything from heart disease and diabetes to asthma and cancer.
We’ve taken a bite out of several different types to prove that, no matter which variety is the apple of your eye, your health will thank you for it.
Originally from Japan, Fujis are large, with a honey-like flavor and pretty pink skin. Like all apples, Fujis are energy-dense — according to both American and Brazilian researchers, this means apples can help with weight loss. Not only does eating an apple before a meal results in chewing through 15 percent fewer kilojoules come mealtime, but they can also help reduce body weight over time.
The sweetness of this variety improves with storage, and like all apples, they may have a role to play in fighting asthma. While several studies have found a link between regular apple consumption and a lower risk of asthma, a study in The Netherlands has also found that apples are one of the few foods that, when eaten during pregnancy, help protect against the development of childhood asthma.
The Granny Smith is more acidic than most apples, making it an excellent choice for cooking — although it does get sweeter as the fruit ripens. An Australian native, it was first discovered in 1868 by an NSW woman called “Granny” Maria Anne Smith, who spotted a tree growing on her farm.
According to a large US study, eating apples like Granny Smiths offers protection against type 2 diabetes —women who ate an apple a day slashed their risk of developing the disease by 28 percent.
The Pink Lady is an Australian-bred apple and is a cross between a Golden Delicious and a Lady Williams. It’s crisp with dense, firm flesh and an almost fizzy flavor. To maintain the Pink Lady’s antioxidant content for as long as possible, store it in the fridge.
While a survey in 2015 found that 50 percent of the populations store their apples in a fruit bowl, research proves that refrigeration is best to maintain their health-giving qualities.