Ways to cook with apples this fall

- We all know the saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But does it really?

Fresh Michigan apples are arriving at local farmers markets and grocery stores so it's the perfect time of year to include them in your daily meals and snacks for a boost of flavor and nutrition. Michigan apples are a convenient and affordable choice and there are many reasons to feel good about adding them to your fall recipes - whether you're tailgating, enjoying a family meal or simply packing a healthy lunch: 

Not only are Michigan apples crisp, juicy and sweet, but they also offer many health benefits. A medium sized apple only has around 95 calories and also contains 4 grams of fiber. This is about 10-15 percent of the amount of fiber that you need for the whole day. Apples also are rich in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants.

Apples are also good for the gut. Gut microbes rely upon complex carbohydrates (dietary fiber) to complete their functions in our digestive systems. Eating more whole fruits and vegetables like apples provides necessary fiber of optimal gut health.

Apples may provide a healthy boost for your brain. There is growing evidence that antioxidants, such as those found in Michigan apples, may protect brain cells. 

Apples are a smart choice, too, for anyone who wants to maintain blood sugar levels that are already within normal limits. High-fiber foods like apples act like an energy time-release machine. The soluble fiber in apples causes apples' natural sugars to be released more slowly and evenly, preventing sudden peaks or valleys in blood sugar. 

Eating more apples will also support more Michigan families! More than 11.3 million apple trees over thousands of acres on hundreds of family-run farms in Michigan. 

Nutritionist Shari Steinbach joined us on The Nine to tell us all about the different health benefits have, and to show us some different ways to incorporate them into our diets. You can hear from her in the video player above, and get some recipes at www.michiganapples.com

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