Apples are often referred to as a “superfood” for good reason. They are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients that can benefit your overall health. In fact, there are numerous health benefits of apples that you may not have known about.
The health benefits of apples include everything from allergies to migrane relief:
1. Alleviate allergies: Apples are rich in quercetin, a plant compound believed to slow down the release of histamine, which is responsible for triggering allergic reactions. (Maybe the old saying about an “apple a day” has some merit after all!)
2. Soften skin: Add sliced apples and/or a cup of apple cider vinegar to your warm water soak to help smooth callouses. (Do not add vinegar if you have diabetes or poor circulation.)
3. Manage a migraine: Athough not yet scientifically proven, some studies suggest that inhaling the aroma of a freshly cut green apple may alleviate symptoms and shorten the duration of an episode.
4. Combat dandruff: Gently massage apple juice into your scalp after washing your hair and leave it on for a few minutes. Rinse thoroughly.
5. Aid digestion: Apples contain a type of soluble fiber called pectin, which has been found to slow down digestion by attracting water and forming a gel. This ultimately helps you feel satisfied for longer, making it a perfect on-the-go snack for weight loss purposes.
6. Freshen breath: An apple a day keeps the bad breath away. Apples contain anti-bacterial properties and fiber, which help to clean your mouth, reducing bad breath. Eating an apple also increases saliva production which reduces bad breath.
Unusual and beneficial uses for apples
In addition to many health benefits of apples, there are countless benefits to learning how to use apples in unusual and helpful ways.
Freshen stale cookies or cake: If you have stale baked goods, try placing a sliced apple in an airtight container with them. The moisture from the apple can help to freshen them up.
Soften hardened brown sugar: To soften hardened brown sugar, simply place an apple slice inside the sugar canister overnight. The apple slice will work its magic and soften the sugar.
Ripen green tomatoes: Place tomatoes—and/or other unripened vegetables and fruit—in a paper bag with apples, which give off the gas ethylene, to speed ripening.
Remove excess salt from soups and casseroles: While potatoes are the old rule of thumb, some cooks say a sliced apple also does the trick.
Create a festive apple candleholder: Simply remove the center with an apple corer, insert a tapered candle. Or carve a larger, shallow opening for a votive tea candle! Makes a beautiful fall table presentation. Use apples that are bruised or have wormholes.
Craft stamp: Slice an apple in half, dip in ink and use to stamp seasonal designs onto wrapping paper, gift bags, invitations, and the like.
So, the next time you have some apples on hand, think beyond the typical snack or dessert. Get creative and explore the unusual uses for apples. Not only will you discover new ways to enjoy this versatile fruit, but you’ll also add a touch of charm and creativity to your home or event.
Beth Herman is a freelance writer with interests in healthy living and food, family, animal welfare, architecture and design, religion, and yoga. She writes for a variety of national and regional publications, institutions, and websites.