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Wednesday, October 2, 2013

5 Ways Drinking Apple Cider Can Actually Make You Healthier

Fall is officially in full swing. Sweaters are being pulled out of closets, grills are being tucked away for the season, and football is on everyone's mind. And as the leaves begin to change color and the air becomes brisk, the only drink that can really satisfy the season's cravings is apple cider. You'll be hard-pressed to find a better beverage than a cold (or hot) glass of cider to wash down that apple cider donut you picked up on your Saturday morning farmers' market stroll. 

Apple cider is made by mashing up fresh apples until they reach the consistency of applesauce. The mash is then wrapped in cloth, put into wooden racks, and squeezed through a hydraulic press to obtain the cider. If the cider is filtered to remove the pulp and sediment it can then be called apple juice, but if it's served unfiltered, it's cider. 

While the old saying "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" will always ring true, the same can, in many ways, be said for apple cider. Since cider is made from fresh-pressed fruit, it contains many of the same nutrients that whole apples do. Also, because cider is not filtered, it retains even more nutrients then apple juice, a perennial lunchbox favorite, since many of the best nutrients are found in the fruit's pulpy solids. 

So when you're out on your fall apple-picking outing or roaming the farmers' market, don't forget the apple cider. These health benefits are reason enough to sip it all season long. 

5) Iron 

Cider contains a small amount of iron, which is necessary for brain and blood function. There is about 2 percent of your daily iron needs in an 8-ounce glass. 

4) Drink Your Fruit 

It isn't always easy to get the recommended number of fruit servings in your daily diet. Luckily one 8-ounce glass of apple cider counts as two servings of fruit. 

3) Potassium 

One glass of cider also contains 135 milligrams of potassium, about 4 percent of your daily needs, which is important for muscle and heart health. 

2) Vitamin C 

Cider is an excellent source of vitamin C, which, among many other benefits, is great for your immune system and cardiac health. One glass contains 6 percent of your daily needs. 

1) Pectin 

Apples are one of the best sources for pectin, and cider contains just as much as the whole fruit. The compound has been show to help absorb bad cholesterol in the body. 

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