Although Virginia’s apple harvest season can start as early as June, the majority are harvested in September, October and early November. According to many traditional medicine systems, and now scientifically backed, is that apples appear at the exact time that we need them.

With such a high water content, apples have naturally cooling properties, so by eating them, we help to get rid of the summer heat. Trapped summer heat contributes to mucous formation, colds and congestion. Apples are also one of the best food sources of a plant pigment called quercetin, an antioxidant that has anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory benefits which can help fall allergies.  In addition, several studies have confirmed that quercetin is a natural anti-viral agent and can help boost your immune system keeping the away the flu and other viruses.

To top it all off, a study done in 2013 showed that eating an apple each day was just as effective as a statin drug for cholesterol, but with less side effects. With all of this evidence, the old adage “an apple a day helps keep the doctor away” has stood the test of time. If you’re confused about what to eat, always look to what foods nature is providing!

Contributed by PWC’s Integrative Dietitian Nutrionist Jena Savadsky Griffith, who may be reached at 540-431-2397 or jsgriffith@culpeperwellness.org.