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Apples, the perfect fall fruit



-By Scott Leitch

Apples at this time of year are piled so high, grocery stores can’t sell them all. They’re cheap, delicious, in season and the health benefits are numerous.

Apples are packed with antioxidants, pectin and a unique mix of polyphenols. Beyond the benefits from antioxidants, the pectin and polyphenols mean eating a single apple each day can lead to lower total and LDL-cholesterol levels, which have cardiovascular health benefits, something triathletes are generally keen to jump at.

In addition, research in recent years has shown that apples are great for promoting healthy gut flora, the makeup of bacteria in your intertines. Two specific types of bacteria — clostridiales and bacteriodes — have been shown to nearly double from a diet that includes apples regularly. The bacteria helps provide fuel for digestion in the large intestine.

Also, just announced in September, new research has shown that the gut flora promoted by eating apples can help reduce risk of obesity by countering some of the metabolic disorders associated with obesity.

Beyond why apples are good for you — something most have heard since they were a child — there are plenty of ways to enjoy them during the fall, from salads to desserts to straight up. However you decide to eat them, avoid peeling your apples as most of the health benefits come from the skin.

Further, there are plenty of orchards with so many apples at this time of year they’re practically falling off the trees. Spending a morning of afternoon picking apples is another great way to get outside before winter sets in.