“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”
Many of us have heard of the wise proverb ” An apple a day keeps the doctor away” and Ayurveda would also agree with the caveat of eating apples that are prepared to balance one’s dosha ( Don’t know your dosha? Take my dosha assessment )
Eat Apples Ayurvedically
In Ayurvedic terms, raw apples have the qualities of cold, astringent and dry. Raw apples are perfect for hot and humid summers to help our bodies release it’s heat. Apples often have a sour taste, but the sour taste increases saliva and stimulates the digestive tract, increases bile production to the small intestine, supports cleansing of the liver, which overall helps promote digestion, releasing heat from the body.
Now that fall is upon us, and winter is on it’s way, apples are still a perfect choice, especially since they are in season. Apples continue to assist our bodies to dissipate summer’s heat, preventing dryness during the fall and winter months.
Raw apples can increase Vata dosha, which has the qualities of dry, light, and mobile. If you tend to experience some gas, bloating, or constipation, then eat your apples cooked, which is easier on your digestion. If you have more Pitta dosha (qualities of hot, sharp, and oily) in your system, or Kapha dosha (qualities of heavy and moist) then eat your apples raw or cooked. For those of you with more Kapha dosha, choose green apples such as Granny Smith apples, since they are more astringent and drying.
Health Benefits of Apples
Apples are low in calories (less than 100 kcal in a medium sized apple), high in fiber and offer several essential nutrients.
- Dietary fibres
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B1
- Vitamin B2
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin B5
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B9
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- and Trace metals (1)
Prevents Kidney Stones
Eating apples as part of a healthy plant focused diet can reduce the chance of developing kidney stones by 40% – 45% (2). Apples and other vegetables decrease urine acidity which helps to reduce the chance for kidney stone formation (3).
Apples are a good source of fiber, and adults should get 25 to 31 grams of fiber a day (4). Apples alleviate constipation with it’s insoluble and soluble fiber content, by bulking up stool and softening stool by drawing water into the stool for easy passage through the digestive system.
Supports Heart Health
Apples are rich in phytonutrients, especially flavonoids. Studies have shown eating foods high in flavonoids can lead to significant reduction in cardiovascular events such as strokes and also improve overall cardiovascular health (6).
Apples are also a good source of potassium, with 150 mg of potassium (7) in a small apple. This mineral helps to balance fluids and minerals in your body, playing an important role in maintaining a normal blood pressure. For optimal health, an adult should try to consume 3,500–4,700 mg of potassium per day from foods (8).
Betty’s Apple Crisp Recipe
In the fall and winter, my family enjoys eating cooked apples, especially apple crisps. This recipe is good for balancing Vata dosha and is good for Pitta Dosha as well as Kapha Dosha in moderation. I add spices that are warming and helpful for digestion. If you want to add a sweetener, use organic dehydrated coconut sugar. It is the dehydrated sap of the coconut palm (Not palm sugar). It’s not processed like regular white or brown sugar so it has more minerals, antioxidants and a slighty lower glycemic index. However, just as any other sweeteners, use it in moderation. (9) If the apples I use are too tart, I will add coconut sugar.
Betty’s Apple Crisp Recipe
3 large seasonal organic apples (our favorite is Honeycrsip)
2 tsp. cinnamon powder
1 tsp. cardamom powder
1/4 tsp. allspice powder
1/8 tsp. ground ginger powder
(optional sweetener: 3 Tbs. coconut sugar)
3/4 cup organic rolled oats
1/4 cup flax meal
1 tsp. cinnamon powder
1/2 tsp. cardamom powder
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp. (or 3/4 capful) Simply Organic Lemon Flavor Extract
2 Tbsp. melted ghee (or coconut oil for vegan version)
(Optional sweetener: 2 Tbs. of coconut sugar)
Preparation-Preheat oven to 375 deg F
- Peel, core and then slice apples into 1/8 inch thick slices. Place in a medium sized bowl.
- Add the spices to apples in the bowl and mix gently until each apple slice is well coated.
- Arrange apples in a pie plate neatly. I find this helps the apple to cook evenly and they look pretty too. See photo below.
- Mix all ingredients for topping thoroughly.
- Place the oat/flax topping on top of apples. Spread it out evenly to cover the apples completely.
- Cover with a larger deep pie dish, then bake for 30 minutes.
- Uncover, and then bake for another 15 minutes.
- Let stand a few minutes to cool and then enjoy! It’s healthy to eat for breakfast too.