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Apples and Aging

Apples and Aging

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away." This well-known proverb—while not true in the literal sense—is unquestionably closer to fact than fiction. That because the unassuming apple, of which there are 7,500 varieties, is healthy to its core.

October is National Apple Month, and ATRIO Health Plans is using this observance to increase awareness—particularly among old adults—of the bushels and bushels of health benefits that apples deliver.

The Amazing Apple

The health benefits of apples are almost too numerous to list, so consider this just a sampling:

  • Apples are rich in important antioxidants, flavonoids, and dietary fiber.
  • Studies have shown that the phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and hypertension.
  • Research has suggested that daily consumption of apples may protect neuron cells against oxidative stress-induced neurotoxicity and, in turn, this may play an important role in reducing the risk of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease.
  • A large study of more than 68,000 women found those who ate the most apples had the lowest risks of asthma.
  • Scientists have linked an apple-rich diet to a reduced risk for stroke.
  • Some studies have concluded that apples may support bone health.
  • A Florida State University study found that older women who ate apples daily had 23% less bad cholesterol (LDL) and 4% more good cholesterol (HDL) after just six months.

Apples also pack a powerful nutritional punch:

  • Vitamin C - A natural antioxidant that potentially can prevent damage caused by free radicals and boost the body's ability to fight infections.
  • B-Complex Vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) - These vitamins play a pivotal role in maintaining red blood cells and maximizing the nervous system's health.
  • Dietary fiber – Promotes regularity of the digestive system, may help lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, as well as contribute to achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Phytonutrients – Help shield the body from the negative impact of free radicals.

Apple Halibut Kabobs

Harness the health benefits of apples by serving up these scrumptious apple halibut kababs.


½ cup dry white wine (chicken broth can be substituted)

4 teaspoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion

½ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

¼ teaspoon pepper

1 baking apple, cored and cut in 1-inch cubes

1 medium green or sweet red pepper cut in 1-inch squares

1small onion, cut in 1-inch squares

1 pound halibut, cut in 1- to 1 1/2-inch cubes


-Combine wine, oil, lime juice, chopped onion, salt, thyme, and pepper; mix well. Marinate remaining ingredients in mixture for 1 to 2 hours.

-Thread apple, pepper, onion, and halibut on four, 12-inch or longer metal or bamboo skewers.

-Broil or grill 4 to 5 inches from heat for 6 to 8 minutes or until fish flakes when tested with fork. Serve warm or cold.