SOUTHINGTON, CT (WFSB) -- You know what they say… “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

It’s that time of the year when apples are aplenty at local orchards across the state.

Roger’s Orchards in Southington is in its 210th harvest.

“This year is also special because the quality coming out of the field this year is just exceptional, the flavor, the color,” said Pete Rogers, of Roger’s Orchards.

Right now, they’re picking Honeycrisp, Macintosh, and Gala.

“I just slice it up and eat it, give it to my kids – we enjoy a honeycrisp. It’s got great flavor and there’s nothing like the snap of eating a honey crisp right off the tree,” Rogers said.

Physician’s Assistant Bradley Biskup, who specializes in lifestyle medicine at UConn Health, said the apple’s simplicity makes it good for you.

“The best apples are all of them,” Biskup said, adding that Connecticut-grown apples are even better.

“When you look at the locally grown, they are usually going to be picked. When they are at peak season and that’s when the nutrition value is going to be most,” Biskup said.

Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and fiber, studies show eating them regularly can lower your risk of many major diseases, including diabetes and cancer.

“Within the skin, that’s where that fiber is. So, when you’re looking for the healthiest food you want the fiber, within that. You get the nutrients as well,” Biskup said.

He adds to look for foods that have a low glycemic load, under 10.

“When you have something with a low glycemic effect like an apple, has a glycemic load of 5, the peanut butter a zero. You feel more satisfied with that, and that’s what we’re looking for, how do we get the food working for you,” Biskup said.

The less processed they are, the better they are for you.

As for those sweet apple treats, you do bake out some of the benefits, so it’s best to eat them right off the tree.

Roger’s Orchard grows 22 different varieties, and it is officially ‘pick our own’ season now through October.

Copyright 2019 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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