Healthy Resolutions in 2015

Have you broken your resolution yet? Lost 20 pounds? Ran a marathon? Me neither. This year I am keeping it simple. An apple a day… Apples are good for you! Who knew? Recent studies both in the US (University of California, Davis) and in the United Kingdom (Oxford University) have shown that eating an apple a day can improve your cardiovascular health. In addition to these studies on apples' effect on heart health, there is some evidence of them improving lung function, having cancer fighting properties and decreasing consumer's risk of diabetes. All of this in a baseball sized fruit! These nutritional powerhouses are available all year long at relatively inexpensive prices, can be kept for several days in the refrigerator and require no preparation, other than washing. An apple about the size of your fist contains approximately 125 calories, 5 grams of fiber, 13% of your daily requirement of vitamin C, phytochemicals, antioxidants and 243 mg of potassium. Research is ongoing to identify more beneficial components of the humble apple, but it seems the magic of the apple is contained in the skin, so do not peel it! We have all heard the adage, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away", coined over 150 years ago. It seems that a century and a half later, real science is confirming what the Victorians knew all along. And so that's what I am going to do. Every day in 2015, I am going to eat an apple. It's as simple as that. Be Smart, Eat Well, Get Healthy.

Here is a delicious way to get your "apple a day":

Peanut Butter and Apples

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

4 apples

- Apple filling:

½ cup peanut butter, smooth or chunky

½ cup crisp rice cereal

¼ cup dried fruit (chopped raisins, dates or figs)

Instructions:

Cut apples into quarters and remove core.

Mix peanut butter, cereal, and raisins.

Spoon into apple hollows where core was removed.

Nutrition Facts (per serving) - Calories 290 ~ fat 16 g ~ calories from fat 150 ~ sodium 200 mg ~ total carbohydrate 32 g ~ fiber 5 g


This post come from Mary Liz Wright, the Nutrition and Wellness Educator serving the counties of Clark, Crawford and Edgar. Wright's expertise is in food preservation, food safety, school gardens, school wellness, and communication/demonstration. Wright is the host of a series of cooking videos, "What's Cooking with Mary Liz Wright" featured on the U of I Extension website, http://web.extension.illinois.edu/, under the Youtube icon.