Today's guest blog post comes from Diane Smith, Executive Director of the Michigan Apple Committee.
March is National Nutrition Month, so we at the Michigan Apple Committee are thinking about all the great nutritional benefits of apples. Apples are an important part of a healthy diet. They are low in sodium and calories and loaded with flavonoids, antioxidants and fiber - truly a smart choice for everybody!
Decades of research from around the globe shows that making Michigan Apples a part of your regular diet may aid in weight loss, brighten your smile, help you maintain energy and strengthen your immune system. Apples may also help you to breathe easier! A study from London’s King’s College and the University of Southampton reports that people who ate at least two apples per week had a 22-32 percent lower risk of developing asthma than people who ate fewer apples.
There is growing evidence that antioxidants, such as those found in apples, may protect brain cells. Researchers from Cornell University highlighted a particular apple flavonoid, quercetin, as a principle compound responsible for protecting brain neurons against the sort of oxidative damage that leads to memory loss. Check out more health benefits of Michigan Apples on our website.
This month, we are also celebrating our local growers! March 21 is National Ag day, so we are encouraging everyone to “buy local” to support the hardworking Michigan Apple growers. There are 825 family-run farms in the state of Michigan, and these growers produce an average of 22 million bushels of apples per year. This year, Michigan growers produced a record crop, with an estimated 31 million bushels of apples! Many of our growers come from a long line of apple producers, with some even being eighth generation growers.
Consumer research has shown that shoppers believe Michigan Apples are fresher and taste better than the same varieties grown elsewhere. This is in large part thanks to Michigan’s unique climate, nutrient-rich soil, proximity to the Great Lakes and, most of all, our passionate apple growers. These factors all work together to create apples that are bursting with flavor… and nutrients!
This spring, support your local growers and lead a healthy lifestyle for you and your children- be a Michigan Apple family! Check out our website for recipe ideas, variety information and more health benefits. Also, be sure to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with the Michigan Apple industry.