Apples can be one of your five-a-day and Ann Evans reminds us that they are even better for us than we realise.
An apple a day keeps the doctor away. We all know the old saying, but this isn’t just an old wives’ tale, eating an apple a day really is good for you. And people have known this for a long time. The origin of the mantra, ‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’, can be traced back to the mid-1800s when the old saying was, ‘Eat an apple on going to bed and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread’.
Nutritionists and scientists have long established the fact that apples in our diet can help reduce the risk of serious illnesses such as some cancers, cardiovascular disease, asthma, and diabetes. Plus, as the average apple only contains around 90 calories, you aren’t going to pile on the pounds by snacking on an apple – and they taste so good!
Naturally, apples count as one of our five-a-day portions of fruit and vegetables. But additionally, eating an apple every day can – according to the experts, help you to lose weight when part of a weight loss plan.
Leading nutritionist, Rob Hobson says that eating an apple before a meal can play a valuable part of a weight loss plan. Rob has partnered with British Apples and Pears to promote the ‘Happy Apple Plan’, reaping the benefits of eating an apple before a meal as part of a healthy diet. Hobson says the ‘Happy Apple Plan’ is a simple way to lose those extra Covid and Christmas pounds this winter.
However, healthy eating pledges often trip up when major changes are required. The ‘Happy Apple Plan’ simply suggests eating an apple before you start your evening meal.
Rob Hobson explains, “Consuming an apple before a meal will help to increase the overall fibre content of that meal, and help you feel full and satisfied for longer. It’s so easy too. Just snack on a fresh and crunchy British apple as you’re preparing a meal, and then you’ll not only benefit from being less likely to eat as much of the meal, you will also benefit from the apple’s healthy flavonoids and fibres that can help to burn belly fat and promote satiety.”
Apples contain 1.2g dietary fibre per 100g, keeping us feeling full and satisfied when hunger strikes, particularly when consumed before meals. Research has shown that apples are three times more filling than a chocolate bar due to their high fibre content. Pectin, the fibre found in apples, also helps to regulate bacteria in the gut which in turn may help to supress weight gain and fat accumulation in the body.
There is no need for concern about a ‘sugar rush’ when you eat an apple before a meal. Although they taste sweet, apples release energy much more slowly than refined sugary treats helping to supply a more sustained level of energy while not inducing energy slumps after eating.
What’s more, numerous studies have demonstrated that high water density foods are effective in helping weight loss. Apples are made up of 86% water, so keep us feeling fuller on fewer calories, meaning we are naturally less likely to mindlessly snack or binge.
Rob Hobson adds, “Apples are rich in polyphenol compounds that act as antioxidants, helping to protect the body from damage caused by excess free radicals and reducing inflammation in the body. Consuming an apple before a meal can help to increase the overall antioxidant content of your meal, making apples the go-to healthy eating addition.”
So, go on, eat an apple every day – they’re better for you than you think… and they taste delicious!
Why not try Goan Prawn and Bramley Apple Curry (serves 2).
200g raw king prawns
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp malt vinegar
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 red or white onion, finely chopped
1 small tomato, roughly chopped
1 tsp garlic paste
2 tsp ginger paste
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 Bramley apple, peeled, cored and cut into match sticks
1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
Place the prawns in a bowl with the turmeric and malt vinegar, stir to coat and leave to one side to marinate.
Add the coconut oil to a frying pan over a medium heat and fry the onions until soft and translucent. Add in the tomato and cook for 4-5 minutes until it starts to break down. Add in the garlic, ginger and ground spices, fry for 1 minute.
Add the prawns and Bramley apple match sticks, stir to coat in the spices and cook for 1 minute. Add in the coconut milk and a pinch of sugar. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes until the prawns are pink and just cooked through. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Serve with fluffy basmati rice and garnish with a handful of fresh coriander and slices of fresh green chilli.
Discover more: https://britishapplesandpears.co.uk/