We’ve all heard mom say, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but did you know there’s science to back this adage? Not only do apples make a delicious, wholesome snack, but they can also reduce your risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer.
For a healthy dessert or snack, here’s my Balsamic Apples Recipe >
Apple Nutrition and Health Benefits
What about apples is so good for us? To start, Apples are rich in flavonoids, polyphenolic compounds with powerful antioxidant activity to help protect the body against harmful free radicals. Apple peels, in particular, are high in protective procyanidins and quercetin, which supports vein health and can help you lower your blood pressure naturally. Also full of pectin, a soluble fiber, apples have a positive effect on blood cholesterol. Not too shabby, as far as health benefits go – and there’s more.
Both the fiber and polyphenols in apples help support the growth of “good” bacteria in the digestive tract, which ultimately contributes to regularity and immune system health. Plus, as a low-glycemic food that won’t flood your bloodstream with sugar, apples are a great way to satisfy a sweet tooth while also keeping energy levels more stable. They’re also a good source of Vitamin C.
To maximize apple health benefits, be sure to eat those peels too. Just remember – apples are known for having higher pesticide residues, so choose organically grown apples whenever possible, or wash conventional apples very well before eating them.
Balsamic Apples with Cinnamon Recipe
Want to enjoy fall’s best as a decadent, healthy, warming treat? With just three ingredients, this Balsamic Apples with Cinnamon recipe couldn’t be easier to make – and it tastes like you spent all day slow-cooking cinnamon spiced apples to a richly burnished glow. I like cinnamon, not only for it’s deliciously spicy flavor, but because it is antioxidant-rich, enhances blood circulation and can support healthy blood sugar levels – especially important for those with type II diabetes.
Enjoy these cinnamon apples with balsamic vinegar with some plain yogurt and a drizzle of raw honey, stirred into oatmeal or on their own, topped with crunchy toasted almonds or walnuts for an extra boost of flavor and nutrients.
- 4 large apples, chopped into 1.5 inch chunks
- 2 tsp coconut oil or butter
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon organic balsamic vinegar
Wash the apples well, then chop. Toss with ground cinnamon. Heat a skillet over medium-low heat and once hot, add butter or coconut oil and apples. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 25 minutes or until apples are soft and browned. Add balsamic vinegar, then stir to coat apples and cook for a few minutes until the vinegar reduces.
Serve warm with plain yogurt, oatmeal or as is.
Variation – use Fig Balsamic Vinegar instead of Organic Balsamic Vinegar.
Note that the fig balsamic is already so smooth and sweet, you don’t need to reduce it over heat!
- Boyer, Jeanelle, and Rui Hai Liu. “Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits.” Nutrition journal vol. 3 5. 12 May. 2004, doi:10.1186/1475-2891-3-5
- Sinatra ST. 11 Foods that Lower Blood Pressure. Drsinatra.com, last accessed Sept. 30, 2019 at https://www.drsinatra.com/eat-these-foods-that-lower-high-blood-pressure.
- Sinatra ST. Managing Diabetes with Cinnamon. Drsinatra.com, last accessed Sept. 30, 2019 at https://www.drsinatra.com/managing-diabetes-with-cinnamon.
© 2019 Stephen Sinatra, MD. All rights reserved.