Not All Apples Are Born Equal. We’ve Tracked Down The Healthiest
Are all apples equally nutritious?
So you want to compare apples to apples? Okay, here’s what all 7 500 varieties have in common: they’re high in fibre, low in kilojoules and filled to the core with phytonutrients, including heart-protective quercetin and kaempferol. That’s a powerful trifecta – so powerful, in fact, that eating an apple a day for just a month may lower your LDL cholesterol by 40%, according to new research from Ohio State University. That’s not to say, however, that Galas and Granny Smiths are nutritional twins or that you can’t maximise a Braeburn’s health boost. Just follow our tips below to reap a bigger return on your investment in apples.
Bet on Skins
One reason apple pie isn’t health food: the peel has six to eight times the polyphenols of the flesh, plus other compounds, says Dr Vasantha Rupasinghe, an associate professor of agriculture at Dalhousie University in the US. Pick varieities with a thick skin – like red apples.
Opt for Organic
Conventionally grown apples tend to be larger than organic ones because synthetic fertilizers promote water retention, says Dr Rong Tsao, a senior research scientist at the Guelph Food Research Centre in Ontario. This dilutes the nutrients in the flesh, so you’re consuming fewer with each bite. Plus, 99% of conventional apples tested by the USDA had some pesticide, while only 33% of organic apples did.
Stop on Red…
But go right past green. The rosy hue in red apples is due to anthocyanins, a class of heart-disease-fighting polyphenols that are also found in red wine, says Tsao. And the redder the better.
Shop Like a Snob
Don’t buy apples with bruises or soft spots. Not only will people think you’re a guy who doesn’t know ugly fruit when he sees it, but the damage to the skin may be a sign of decay or infection. Once you weed out the losers, bring the winners home and stow them in the fridge. In a German study, apples that were refrigerated maintained a higher concentration of polyphenols than those left at room temperature did.