Autumn typically means harvest time in Canada, making it wonderful to see the markets overflowing with colorful vegetables and plenty of fresh apples. One of nature’s finest foods, the apple comes in a variety of colors and flavours sure to please any palate. From McIntosh to Red Delicious, Gala to Cortland the health benefits of apples are countless.

One of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, there are more than 7,500 known varieties of apples. A member of the rose family, it is thought the apple has been around for some 4000 thousand years. And according to some researchers, archeologists have found evidence that us humans have been enjoying apples as far back as 6500 BC.

Apples made an excellent commodity for early settlers as they stored well and had many uses. When dried they were available all year round and apples could be easily turned into cider. In her book The Apple, A History of Canada’s Perfect Fruit, author Carol Martin describes how “apples have been a part of Canadian life ever since the first European settlers arrived in the early years of the 17th century. In the east, Champlain led his tiny colony to Hochelaga (Quebec City) and brought along young saplings to be planted. In the west, Sir George Simpson arrived to found the most westerly Hudson's Bay company fort with apple seeds tucked into his vest pocket. Throughout the 19th and 20th centuries horticulturalists across the country worked to develop varieties of eating apples that could withstand Canadian winters.”

Today, people from all countries across the globe are enjoying apples daily making them the most popular fruit in the world. Although apples have endless culinary uses such as pies and dumplings, the best way to obtain the maximum nutrition apples have to offer is by eating them the way Mother Nature intended. Whole raw apples have many health benefits and there are many studies and claims to support this.

Apples contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and soluble fibre. Because of the powerhouse of nutrients apples provide they can help boost our immune system, help build strong bones and teeth, help repair tissue, help to slow the aging process, reduce the risk of diseases including some cancers, osteoporosis and heart disease, help lower cholesterol, help increase fibre intake, help manage diabetes and help with weight loss.

Apples make a healthy and nutritious snack with many varieties available in the markets all year round. When shopping for apples look for bright, richly coloured apples that feel firm and pick fruit that is free from bruises, holes and soft spots and try to buy organic. Wash them well when you get them home. To keep them crispy store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator or a cold cellar but eat them at room temperature for the most flavour. Although some apples taste sweet and others may have a tart or tangy taste, it’s always fun to experiment and try different varieties. How fortunate we are to have this simple fruit so readily available to us daily.

The health benefits from eating apples are enormous and scientific researchers are discovering more and more reasons we should all be eating apples. The next time you’re looking for a snack, remember that old saying and reach for an apple. An apple a day can indeed help keep us healthy.

Author's Bio: 

A Product Consultant and Member of The AIM Companies for over twenty years, Joanne Jackson takes pride in sharing her knowledge of nutrition and the AIM products with others. As an advocate of healthy eating and proper nutrition, Joanne understands that the choices we make, and choosing them wisely, is the key to wellness. Sign up for her informative free newsletter by visiting