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Michigan Apples – Nature’s Natural Health Defender

As the New Year begins, many of us start thinking about making healthy lifestyle changes to lose weight, manage a chronic disease, or simply to feel more energetic. This year, instead of big resolutions that are hard to keep, try making a few small, sustainable changes. For example, consuming more nutrient-rich fruits and veggies on a daily basis can add up to big health benefits. Start by stocking your kitchen with a variety of fresh, frozen, dried, and low sugar canned options and include at least one serving of a fruit or vegetable at every meal and snack.

One simple step you can take toward better health this year is to add Michigan Apples to your weekly shopping cart and daily meals. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a medium-sized apple is a good source of fiber and vitamin C, along with many other vitamins and minerals. Michigan Apples are delicious eaten by themselves or in recipes and they are truly nature’s natural health defender. Check out these amazing health benefits:

Apples May Reduce your Risk of Cancer – Researchers have speculated that the antioxidants found in apples may provide benefits that can reduce the risk of cancer. Specifically, a 2016 review in Public Health Nutrition found that eating apples regularly is associated with a reduced risk of certain cancers, including colorectal, oral cavity, esophageal, and breast cancers. The fiber in apples may also provide cancer-preventing perks especially with colorectal and breast cancers.

Apples May Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol – Enjoy a juicy Michigan Apple and your heart will thank you. Studies have linked apple consumption with reduced risk of heart disease, which in part may be related to the cholesterol-lowering advantages of the soluble fiber pectin which is found in apples. Soluble fiber appears to prevent cholesterol buildup in the lining of blood vessel walls which can reduce the incidence of plaque buildup.  This action can reduce the risk of heart disease and can help decrease blood pressure. Both key risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Apples Provide Benefits to your Digestive System – The fiber in apples is a friend of your digestive system. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber which are important for proper digestion. The soluble fiber slows down digestion, along with the absorption of glucose, while also providing a feeling of fullness. Insoluble fiber keeps food moving through your system to help avoid constipation. When eating Michigan Apples, include the apple skin as much as possible. This is where much of the insoluble fiber is contained.

Apples Support a Healthy Immune System – Since the pandemic, most of us have been looking for ways to support the health of our immune system. Apples can be an important part of your immune-support toolbox. The soluble fiber in apples appears to assist animals with converting immune cells into anti-inflammatory and immune-supporting ones. Also, the vitamin C in apples plays a beneficial role in immune function. It does this by supporting multiple cellular functions of your body’s immune system.

Apples Support Brain Health – Studies link quercetin, a flavonoid found in apples to protecting brain neurons from oxidative damage while also containing other disease-fighting properties to guard against Alzheimer’s disease. Research continues to study this promising link to brain health.

Apples Support Healthy Weight Management – Studies show that people who consume the most fiber have lower body weight. The fiber in apples slows digestion and the rise of blood sugar, keeping you feeling full and less likely to overeat. At only 95 calories for a medium-sized apple, Michigan Apples are perfect when sweet cravings strike and they are a tasty additional to lower calorie meals like my quick and easy sheet pan dinner below, or this one from Chocolate Slopes.

Michigan Apple & Chicken Sheet Pan Meal

Flavorful Michigan Apples combine with lean chicken, sweet potatoes and onions in this nourishing sheet pan dinner. And, because it’s a one-pan dinner, clean-up is super easy!

chicken Sheet Pan

Makes 6 servings.


4 small boneless, skinless chicken breasts

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

1 red onion, thickly sliced

1 large sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 Michigan Apples, sliced into ½ inch slices (try Fuji, Gala, or Honeycrisp)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Brush chicken with 1-1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  3. Place chicken breasts on a large sheet pan. Arrange an even layer of red onions, sweet potatoes, and apple slices on the pan. Sprinkle vegetables with remaining olive oil, salt, and pepper.
  4. Top with a loose layer of aluminum foil. Bake for 35 minutes.
  5. Remove aluminum foil, and place back into the oven until the chicken has cooked thoroughly and is golden brown, about another 10 minutes. The internal chicken temperature should read 165°F.

Nutrition information per serving: 322 calories; 11.5 g fat; 27 g protein; 27 g carbohydrate; 5 g fiber; 683 mg sodium

Meet the Author

Shari Steinbach

Shari Steinbach, MS RDN
Shari Steinbach & Associates, LLC

For the past 26 years, Shari has worked as a dietitian in the grocery industry for two major retailers in the Midwest. In her retail roles, Shari has managed consumer health communication, health influencer partnerships, nutrition programs, and solution-selling strategies.

Shari has served as a nutrition expert and corporate spokesperson, providing food and nutrition advice through monthly television spots on ABC, NBC and FOX affiliates and local radio segments. She has also conducted numerous educational presentations to community groups and professional organizations throughout the country. Her timely nutrition and food product information and strategic social media messages have reached millions of consumers.