I was doing research recently on the benefits of apples, and thought that in particular, seniors can certainly derive joy and good health from this round, glossy and beautiful fruit! They are filled with pectin, which aids in digestion and alleviates heartburn for five hours. Perhaps that is why the old adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
For decades, my midday snack was a lovely red Delicious apple. I was a purist, and since Macintosh apples, which were the most common, had a flavor I didn’t love, I would seek out a red Delicious. But over these past few years, the offerings have increased. I have been drawn to Galas, Fujis, Pink Ladies, Brae burns and a few others which may be hybrids. They are very plentiful, especially in the fall and winter months. In fact, apple-picking continues to be a family event that young people still embrace.
In addition to snack food, apples are wonderful in salads, accompaniments to meats and chicken, great with peanut butter and incredibly fabulous over ice cream. They may not have a starring role at meals, but they can certainly enhance lunch or dinner.
There is one caution I feel compelled to share, and that is the digestion of the skin. Having my own digestion issues, I am very aware of the importance of chewing the skin very, very well, if, like me, you wish to eat it (yet another reason to take very good care of our teeth!) Otherwise, peeling and quartering an apple is quick and easy. Who can forget the ability the actress Meg Ryan as Sally had, in WHEN HARRY MET SALLY, to peel her apple in a single rotation?
If peeling doesn’t “a peel” to you, I can recommend baking, grating or mashing an apple to derive the health benefits without the danger of choking on the skin or having a digestion problem. And for those looking for a quick snack, apple sauce is available in many options, from plain to cinnamon, sweetened or unsweetened.
Eve may not have known the true consequence of her bite of the apple the serpent seduced her to eat, but the benefits for those of us looking for a healthy snack or meal enhancement, are very appreciative! Enjoy, and Bon Appetit!