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Food

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It’s true: An apple a day may keep doctor away

Apples don’t get the same buzz as popular “superfruits” such as goji berries, acai berries or pomegranates. But don’t overlook them. They are chock-full of powerful disease-fighting nutrients and health benefits, in addition to being affordable and portable.

•Apples keep you hydrated: 84 percent of an apple’s content is water. This means apples not only satisfy your hunger but can satisfy your thirst as well.

•They are low in calories (a medium-size apple has only 80), fat-free, sodium-free, cholesterol-free and full of fiber.

•They contain immune-boosting vitamin C, which is important for the growth and repair of all body tissues. Vitamin C also helps to heal cuts and wounds and keeps teeth and gums healthy.

•They help you meet your daily fruit intake. The USDA recommends about two cups of fruit per day for most adults. A medium apple counts as a cup of fruit, so if you snack on one fresh apple while on the go, you are halfway to meeting your daily fruit intake.

Ready to start looking for apple recipes? Be careful. Many apple recipes contain loads of butter and refined sugar (think traditional apple pie) and advise you to remove the skin, stripping away important dietary fiber and nutrients. With apple season in full swing, find out how to maximize your “apple a day.”

Most of the fiber in apples comes from the skin and the pulp. When you remove the skin, you remove about half the fiber. A medium apple with skin contains 3.3 grams of fiber, whereas a medium without skin has only 1.7 grams.

An apple’s skin is also incredibly nutrient-rich. According to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, apples are loaded with the powerful antioxidant quercetin, which is found predominantly in the skin.

Apples are probably most known for their role in popular American desserts such as apple pies and tarts. Apple pie is a classic fall comfort food, but a typical slice of it can set you back anywhere from 300 to 600 calories.

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