An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Don't believe us? For starters, apples are low in calories (about 80 calories in a small apple), high in fiber, loaded with antioxidants, have been proven to help lower cholesterol, aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of Alzheimers and the list goes on.
Over the years, there has been a slow change taking place in the produce department of local supermarkets. New, exciting apples bursting with flavor, crunch and juiciness are quickly rising to the top of consumers popularity lists. Gala and Fuji apples are being purchased in greater numbers than ever before.
Packed with fiber and nutrients, these fruits make the perfect snack. But with more than 7,000 varieties to choose from, knowing which apple to pick can be tricky. While you really can't go wrong—and experimenting is fun — start with these five suggestions to get the most out of your favorite variety.
Granny Smith: Tart and tangy, at their peak of ripeness these bright green beauties will still make your mouth pucker—just a little bit!
Unique health benefits: Grannies are full of indigestible fiber and a blend of polyphenols that can help keep you fuller, longer. A new study found that the green apple's unique nutrients supported healthy gut bacteria which in turn kept hunger and cravings at bay. The researchers even found that it can help fix the type of unhealthy bacteria often found in the guts of obese people. In addition, they have the highest level of any apple of procyanidins, a compound that's been shown to help your hair grow.
How to use: Because of their tartness and firmness, Granny Smiths can be used in a variety of cooked and raw dishes to balance out sweetness.
Gala: A blend of sweetness, thin skin, and light red coloring make this the Goldilocks of apples.
Unique health benefits: Galas are full of flavonoids, compounds that have been shown to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and antioxidant properties. To get the most flavonoids, be sure to keep the peel on when you eat it!
How to use: Their mild sweetness adds a nice flavor to both sweet and savory dishes without being overpowering. Their thin skin and firm flesh means they cook well and are good served raw.
Fuji: Thanks to their crispness and intense sweet flavor, Fuji apples have become one of the most popular varieties for noshing on plain.
Unique health benefits: Fuji apples have the highest concentration of bioflavonoids of any apple variety. Bioflavonoids are compounds found in plants that have been shown to have anti-ageing and anti-inflammation benefits.
How to use: Their bright flavor makes them a natural for any dish where you want the apple taste to be very apparent. They provide a sweet complement to savory dishes which is why they're so often found in salads. They're also a great natural sweetener for dishes that you'd prefer not to add refined sugar to like oatmeal or yogurt.
Macintosh: With a slightly sweet flavor but lots of juice, these apples are known for having the softest flesh which makes them a little mushy for eating, but perfect for apple sauces and butters.
Unique health benefits: The thicker skin of a Macintosh is a great source of ursolic acid, a compound that researchers have discovered can help fight obesity.
How to use: Often called "the perfect baking apples," these make great pies and breads.
Jonagold: Jonagolds are a hybrid of Jonathan and Golden Delicious apples and so they have a tart-sweet flavor that is the perfect blend of both parents.
Unique health benefits: All apples have pectin, a soluble fiber found in fruits, but Jonagolds have the most of any variety. Pectin has been shown through research to help lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and your risk of colon cancer.
How to use: Thanks to their softer flesh, these apples are great for soups, smoothies, juices, or cider.