bigstockphoto_Health_And_Fitness_-_Apples_148749According to research, 38% of Americans made a weight loss resolution for 2015, but only 8% stuck to any resolution at all. Looking for a way to keep your healthy New Year’s Resolution? Try a delicious apple. As you map out your strategies for dropping pounds and eating healthier in 2016, here are 4 ways apples can give you a boost: Apples Curb Common Weight Gain If we aren’t careful, it’s easy to gain a little weight every year. But according to a recent study, adding 8 ounces of apples (the equivalent of about 1 large apple) to your daily diet is associated with gaining 1.24 pounds less over the course of 24 years. It helps to incorporate other fruits and non-starchy vegetables as well. Apple’s Fiber Protects Your Waistline Obesity is a serious problem, and it’s more than cosmetic; it greatly increases the risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses. Luckily, apples have long been considered protectors of your waistline, in part because they are full of healthy, filling fiber. Plus, apples don’t stop at just filling you up. Another study done at Washington State University in 2015 found that apples, and Granny Smith apples in particular, help prevent obesity as well as many of the health problems associated with it. The researchers found that the fiber and polyphenols in tart apples caused beneficial bacteria to flourish. So what does this mean? The bacteria that populate your gut are very telling. Obese people have larger quantities of bacteria that are linked to inflammation, which contributes to many health problems. According to the Washington University study, when obese mice ate apples, their bacteria began to resemble that of lean mice, and their health improved. So add apples to your day, and feed the good bacteria that live inside you. Apples Are Easy On the Go The easiest way to get your daily apple is to make a habit of carrying one with you. Buy plenty of apples for the week, and each day wrap one in a paper towel and tuck it in your bag. Eat it whenever you feel hunger pains coming on, and then wipe your hands clean and wrap the core in the towel to throw it away. Or consider sliced apples, tossed with a little lemon or vitamin-C enriched apple juice to prevent browning, and packed in a sandwich bag. Easy on-the-go dips include nut butters, jam, or yogurt. Pair apple slices with sliced cheese or meats – like ham or smoked turkey – for a little protein boost during the day. Apples Are Versatile Need more inspiration? Add a little crunch to your lunch. Slip sliced apples into sandwiches. Chop apples and add them to chicken, egg or tuna salads. Toss green salads with apple slices or chunks for an added natural sweetness and a burst of flavor. Garnish a bowl of creamy soup with some floating apple chunks. Order curry at lunch and have sliced apples as a simple complement – a pinch of chili powder will turn them into a delicious chutney. Stir fries can benefit from the addition of a chopped tart apple and a quick stir in the pan. Enjoy your apples for dessert by dipping in caramel, cinnamon sugar, or nice, ripe brie. Keep those apples handy, and you won’t even notice that they are helping you with your resolutions. They are just that good!

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