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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Cooking and Produce


An apple a day...

Contributors: Brenda Bell, Human Development Specialist, Howell County & Janet Hackert, Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension


...really is good for you! Apples pack a nutritional punch. They contain antioxidants which may help in the reduction of the risk for cancer, as well as helping to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. They also have vitamins C and K, potassium and fiber. At only about 100 calories per medium apple (about the size of a baseball), they make a wonderful, inexpensive snack.


The October 2010 issue of Tufts University Health and Nutrition Letter mentions two significant studies that show the value of eating apples. The publication states, “A meta-analysis conducted in Italy found that consumption of one or more apples a day significantly reduced the risks of many types of cancer compared to consuming less than one apple a day.” Similar findings came from the other study (a large cohort study based in the U.S.) indicating that “the number of servings of apples and pears eaten were correlated with a reduced risk of lung cancer.”


There are many apple varieties and some are better suited for eating raw versus cooking or baking. Apples with wrinkles on the blossom end are typically good for eating fresh while those that are smooth on the blossom end are better for cooking. The exception to this is Golden Delicious, which is good in both fresh and cooked forms.

Apple cider or apple juice are delicious ways to enjoy this fall fruit. Just be sure to choose pasteurized apple juice to avoid illness, especially for children and the elderly. The pasteurization process kills dangerous bacteria that may be found in fresh apple juice.


To keep apples crisp and juicy, refrigerate them in plastic bags with small air holes.


To learn more about selecting, using and preserving apples, see Harvest to Health: Apples.


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Last update: Monday, September 26, 2011