Season’s Healthy Pick: Apples

Try a new variety and reap a bounty of healthy benefits.

By Janis Graham from Reader's Digest | September 2008

Apples are practically rolling down the produce aisles this month. Why not try a new variety? Bite into a tart, spicy, red-striped Cameo; a sweet, rosy-yellow Cripps Pink; or a Honeycrisp, known for its cidery taste and firm texture. Plus, you’ll get some newly discovered health benefits.

Apple Health Benefitsclipart.comNewly discovered health benefits make apples this season's star produce.

Aim for an apple a day to:

Stave off Alzheimer’s disease. Apples contain quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that protects brain cells from degeneration in rats-and might do the same in humans. Be sure to eat the skin, says Cornell University researcher Chang Lee, since it’s especially rich in disease-fighting compounds.

Protect against colon cancer. When the natural fiber in apples ferments in the colon, it produces chemicals that help fight the formation of cancer cells, according to new research from Germany.

Prevent high blood pressure. Adults who eat apples are 37 percent less likely to have hypertension, according to a recent food database analysis.