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Apple products possess health benefits too

Contact: Denise Yockey
(800) 456-2753

DeWitt, Mich.- With recent evidence indicating Americans need to consume more fruits and vegetables, the Michigan Apple Committee is quick to point out that both apples and apple products provide many, very similar, health benefits.

This month Produce for Better Health will launch its new campaign, “Fruit and Veggies – More Matters!,” which replaces the “5 A Day” brand. The change, timed with National Nutrition Month, is based on research that has found nine servings of fruits and vegetables provide more of a complete diet.

While combining a variety of fruits and vegetables is of utmost importance, MAC reminds consumers that not only apples but also apple juice, cider and applesauce count as fruit servings. Studies have shown that commercially-produced apple products may have significant health benefits, including links to preventing cancer and heart disease, as well as improving memory and lung function.

“While apples in and of themselves pack quite a powerful health punch, you might be surprised to learn that many of those nutritional qualities are retained in apple products,” said Denise Yockey, MAC executive director.

MAC offers the following healthful tips to incorporate apple products into your diet: add apple juice or cider in place of fats and oils; use apple juice to add an extra splash of flavor and some antioxidants; and substitute applesauce for shortening when baking cookies or fruitcakes.

Apples are naturally fat- and cholesterol-free and a great source of fiber, which has been linked to lowering cholesterol and aiding in digestion. They also have been shown to help curb appetite and promote weight loss.

The Fall Harvest Smoothie (see recipe below), featuring apple juice, is a great after workout pick-me-up. For more reading about the many health benefits of apples and recipe ideas, see the MAC web site at www.MichiganApples.com/health.

The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world. For more information, visit MichiganApples.com.

Fall Harvest Smoothie

2 containers (8 oz. each) vanilla lowfat yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
1 cup thawed, frozen Michigan apple juice, concentrate, undiluted
3 cups lowfat milk

1. Thoroughly combine yogurt, sugar, honey and apple juice concentrate. Refrigerate about 1 hour or until thoroughly chilled.

2. Add milk to chilled yogurt mixture and serve cold.
Yield: 6 servings.

Per Serving, 1 cup: 260 calories, 0 g dietary fiber, 4 g fat, 126 mg sodium.