By Senator Patty Ritchie
From pie to cider, if there’s one type of fruit that signals fall is here, it’s the apple. Not only are New York apples tasty, they’re healthy too. Here are some of the biggest ways apples can help boost your health.
They pack a nutritional punch: Low in calories and high in fiber, apples make a great snack. An added bonus – they are an excellent source of vitamin C, which boosts your immune system.
Apples promote heart health: According to a new study, eating fruit every day – especially apples – can reduce the risk of heart and artery disease by up to 40 percent.
An abundance of antioxidants: According to the USDA, on a list of 100 foods with high concentrations of antioxidants, which fight diseases, two apple varieties Red Delicious and Granny Smith, ranked in the top 15.
Top-notch teeth: No, an apple isn’t a substitute for a tooth brush, but studies have shown that the biting and chewing of an apple can help to reduce tooth decay.
Extra endurance: Need an extra boost before a workout? Apples provide the body with an antioxidant called quercetin, which makes oxygen more available to the lungs and can help increase endurance.
As chair of the Senate Agriculture Committee, I know that with every apple I eat I’m not just reaping the health benefits, I’m supporting our hardworking farmers too. You can do your part by buying local and fresh apples, juice, cider and other apple food and drink at farmers markets or your local grocery store.
In addition, you can also purchase directly from local apple growers.
New York State is home to 650 apple orchards, with more than a dozen right here in the Central and Northern New York regions.
You can find a list of growers who sell directly to the public by visiting the New York State Apple Growers Association website at www.nyapplecountry.com
There, you’ll also find everything from recipes to a guide to apple-related events throughout the state.
Best wishes for an enjoyable and healthy fall season!