We’ve heard the expression many times that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but that’s not all—research shows that regularly eating fruit, such as apples, may contribute to weight loss.

Take the apple: This phytonutrient packed fruit is not only great for snacking, dessert or making apple sauce, but it also pares well with vegetables and is a great way to add sweetness and moisture to recipes without added fats.

READ MORE: Can Certain Foods Speed Up Weight Loss?

Research continues to show that apples may play an important role in our long term overall wellness thanks to the many antioxidants they contain. One small apple has only about 48 calories, contains soluble fiber, potassium, vitamin C and small amounts of vitamin E and protein.  Apples also contain high levels of quercetin that may improve the antioxidant activity of the blood. Studies show that people with higher quercetin intakes have a lower than normal risk of heart disease and stroke. The pectin found in apples may help lower cholesterol. Even diabetics can take pleasure in eating apples as the fruit can help keep blood sugar levels down. Apples also have a low glycemic index and therefore this makes them diabetic-friendly.

READ MORE: Get the Scoop on Low Glycemic Foods

Impress your guests and have some fun making this Apple, Pear, and Butternut Squash Mash with children this holiday season. Children love to mash anything, and this is a great way to spend some quality food preparation time with children or other family members creating food “memories” that make us beautiful inside and out.

Apple, Pear and Butternut Squash Mash Recipe:
Makes 8 Servings – Serving Size: ½ cup


  • 1.5 lbs. butternut squash—peeled, seeded, medium dice
  • 1 large Fuji apple—medium dice
  • 1 large Bartlett pear, ripe—medium dice
  • 1 tablespoon golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon dried currants
  • ½ cup orange juice

Instructions: In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and place into a 9-inch by 9-inch glass baking pan. Cover with foil and vent by piercing with a fork several times. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, pour into mixing bowl and mush with hand masher until mashed but chunky. Place in serving bowl and enjoy.So think “an apple a day can make me healthier in many ways” and enjoy making this wonderful side dish to share this holiday season.

COLUMN: How to Eat Healthy Over the Holidays