BLOG: Have you ever wondered why an apple is the symbol of teaching? Or why students traditionally bring a shiny red apple to their teacher on the first day of school? The exact reasoning is thought to have biblical roots, referencing the Tree of Knowledge in the book of Genesis. Every fall, thousands of teachers receive apples, but giving this delicious fruit as an end of the year gift may be just as appropriate!
You’ve heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” and it’s true! Eating apples can help your favorite teacher enjoy a healthy and relaxing summer vacation. Regardless of the color, apples are known as nutrient powerhouses for their high composition of antioxidants, B vitamins, and dietary fiber.
The antioxidant effects of the vitamin C found in an apple can increase the body’s resistance to infection, cancer and even help repair skin that is damaged by the sun. Also important are the B vitamins, including riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B6, which are essential to red blood cells and energy level. Without adequate B Vitamins, blood cell counts can decrease, resulting in a lack of oxygen to the muscles and a decrease in the energy needed for fun summer activities. Apples also contain 5g of dietary fiber, a nutrient that helps keep you full, regulate cholesterol, and maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
Eating an apple a day can get boring for some (others, like me, have no problem!). Try some of these tips to keep apples an exciting and delicious snack: 1. Always rinse and eat the skin of the apple. Most of the vitamins are held in the crisp, dark outer layer. 2. Try serving apples with a slice of low fat cheese. Apples contain boron, a trace element that when consumed with calcium can help strengthen bones. 3. Slice apples and mix them into yogurt or cottage cheese. The protein provided by dairy combined with the fiber of an apple can help keep you full until your next meal! 4. Try grilling can apple at your barbeque this summer. Drizzle honey on top for a delicious and healthy dessert! 5. Toss apples into a salad for a sweet twist
Stewart’s has apples readily available year-round, stored in their cooler in order to preserve nutrients and keep the fruit fresh. In the final days of the school year, consider stopping at your local Stewart’s Shop and bringing an apple to your favorite teacher. While serving as a simple thank you, an apple can also keep them healthy. If nothing else, maybe it will get them thinking ‘A is for Apple,’ never a bad letter to have in mind while they fill in report cards!!
-Christine Sloat MS, RD, CDN
About Christine: Christine Sloat is a Registered Dietitian and life-long resident of upstate New York. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Dietetics from the University of Delaware, and a Master’s of Science in Applied Nutrition from The Sage Colleges in Troy. She has a nutrition consulting business, Nutritious Notions LLC.