There’s truth in the adage, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” You can boost your immunity with apples—including apple products such as 100% apple juice, cider and apple sauce.
According to the U.S. Apple Association, recent research suggests that apples might be the key to achieving a stronger immune system and better gut health (the reason many people consume foods enhanced with probiotic bacteria).
A study published in Denmark’s January 2010 issue of BMC Microbiology found that long-term consumption of apples may promote growth of these “friendly bacteria” in your stomach, potentially leading to a stronger immune system.
Apple-balsamic salmon. Get the recipe. Photo courtesy USApple.org.
The findings point to the benefits of apple pectin—a type of dietary fiber found in apples—working in tandem with the abundance of antioxidants in apples.
So, work an apple a day into your diet and see if it makes you feel better. A one-cup portion of fresh apple is 65 calories, with 3g dietary fiber, 13g sugars and 10% daily value of Vitamin C.
Apples are grown in every state in the continental United States. Top-producing states include Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.
An estimated 7,500 U.S. apple growers manage orchards covering 379,000 acres, trailing only oranges and grapes in the amount of U.S. acreage committed to fruit production.
In 2008, the average U.S. consumer ate an estimated 16.4 pounds of fresh-market apples and 33.3 pounds of processed apples, for a total of 49.8 pounds of fresh apples and apple products.
Almost 65% of the 2008 U.S. apple crop was eaten as fresh fruit, while 34.5% was processed into apple products (1% was not marketed). Of the 34.5% that was processed, 15.7% went into juice and cider, 12.2% was canned, 2.1% was dried, 2.1% was frozen and 1.1% was sold as fresh slices. Other uses include the making of baby food, apple butter or jelly and apple cider vinegar.