While apples are a year-round fruit, they are most enjoyed by many when used to make fall and winter apple pies and other dishes. Of course, during other seasons, people also use them to make health drinks as well as in dishes like salads and casseroles.
There are over 7,000 varieties of apples, and 2,500 of them are grown in the United States. However, you will never see such a large variety of apples in a grocery store. With so many different types of apples, it’s not uncommon to ask, what is the healthiest apple?
With their own set of health benefits, apples are low in calories and high in fiber. They are also filled with phytonutrients, including heart protective properties.
So, What Is The Healthiest Apple?
While all varieties of apples offer nutritional benefits, the Red Delicious is the healthiest apple due to its overall nutrition. They are high in antioxidants and their deep red color from polyphenols help prevent heart disease and other conditions.
So, when faced with a dozen different varieties in the produce isle, if your focus is on the healthiest apple, choose the Red Delicious.
Big Difference In Taste, Not Nutrition
Depending on their color and type, apples have slightly different nutrients. However, Red Delicious apples have polyphenols that are exclusively found in dark red fruits. Polyphenols are plant compounds that may help prevent heart disease and other conditions such as cancer.
But don’t worry if Red Delicious is not your favorite variety because any apple you buy will offer a slew of health boosting nutrients. Besides, the nutritional differences among apple varieties are small, but the taste differences are big. So, even though Red Delicious is the answer to ‘what is the healthiest apple’, don’t choose it if you’re not a fan of the taste.
Choose Fresh and Local Fruits
When it comes to apples, regardless of the variety you pick, make sure it’s fresh. Old apples are not only less nutritious, but they also could be rotten and don’t taste good. Instead, choose an apple with no bruises and it feels firm. Although some apple varieties are naturally more colorful, look for apples with bright color. Moreover, fresh apples have a nice aroma when you smell them.
Also, it’s best to choose apples that are locally grown because they’re more nutritious if they have less travel time to you. Since July through October is prime apple season in the U.S., local apples are easy to find.
If you’re choosing apples in the off-season, check the sticker for its country of origin. It probably has lost some of its nutrition in transport if it had to travel a long distance. However, regardless of where they come from, wash them thoroughly before eating them.
You don’t really need any special tools or chemicals to wash apples. First, wash your hands, then wash the apple under running water, and gently scrub the skin with a brush or cloth.
Are Organic Apples Healthier?
So, we’ve already answered, ‘what is the healthiest apple?’ But are organic apples healthier than conventionally grown apples? Researchers have found a greater variety of species in the bacterial population of organic apples. In essence, this makes organic apples more resilient to pathogens that may infiltrate farm crops.
For this reason, you may want to consider purchasing organic produce so that you too can enjoy the benefits of a diverse microbial community. And some organic fruits may be slightly more nutritious than conventionally grown fruits.
Organic farmers use different growing practices for organic apples. Although pesticides are used on apples grown conventionally, some organic growers may use pesticides approved for organic farming.
Even though the government has guidelines about what pesticides growers can use, you should still thoroughly wash fruits and vegetables before using them. However, if you peel you apples, you will lose some nutrients and fiber that’s found in the skin.
So, what is the healthiest apple? The answer is Red Delicious due to having polyphenols that are exclusively found in dark red fruits. But the bottom line is that an apple a day is a healthy habit, so don’t stress about picking the right one. Instead, eat the apples you like because they are all healthy!
You may also enjoy reading: 3 Ways To Naturally Boost Your Immune System