(Pyrus Malus) In addition to being tasty, apples are remarkably healthy. It is not for nothing that the old saying is still remembered: An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A medium-sized apple (about 100g) contains about 50 kcal. Its 85% water content makes it a great thirst quencher and the complex carbohydrates in it provide your body with a longer, more even energy boost than high sugar snacks. For this reason apples may be considered the most natural snack there is. Apart from various sugars (Glucose, Fructose and Saccharose), apples contain more dietary fibre than most cereals. Both roughage and most other valuable nutrients are contained near the skin. However, the skin is very susceptible to taking up agricultural pesticides, therefore the health benefits of untreated apples are much greater.
Apples are a major source of pectin, a soluble fibre found in most fruit and vegetables. Several studies have shown that pectin helps reduce cholesterol. In addition to vitamin A and B-complex, apples contain a substantial amount of vitamin C, the specific amount of which differs depending on the variety. A medium sized Boskop (100g) usually contains between 20 and 30 milligrams (mg). A medium sized Granny Smith contains only between 5 and 10 mg. Calcium, iron and phosphorous are the most important minerals of more than twenty that may be contained in an apple.
The apple could be considered a natural toothbrush: its firm flesh stimulate the gums and the malic acid (the apples natural occuring fruit acid) content cleanses the teeth. Apple juice contains condensed tannins which have properties that may help prevent periodontal or gum disease. Apples have the highest concentration of flavonoids (also known as bioflavonoids) of any fruit. Research indicates that flavonoids help protect against heart disease and cancer. Since flavonoids are plant pigments, which are responsible for the coloration of fruit, you may be well advised to choose apples not only for taste, but also for beauty.
The most important health benefit of apples may be their positive influence on the digestive tract. Their gentle action even cures diarrhea in babies safely and effectively when fed as a finely grated puree.
Color has little to do with the quality of an apple, but its smell does. Keep in mind that some apple varieties are at their best just after being harvested, while others are at their peak only several weeks later.
Apple is known as the king of fruit. Scientists are not sure where the apple originated and debate whether it was South-East Europe or South-West Asia. Chances are that it may have been in Caucasia, the area between the Black and the Caspian Sea, where the countryside is still covered with old forests of wild apple trees, from which today's apple varieties have been developed. Roadsides in ancient Persia were planted with apple trees and their cultivation was already formally taught. Following his conquest of the Persian Empire, Alexander the Great returned to Greece with many different varieties of fruit, including the apple. From there the apple spread to Italy and from there the Romans spread it to France and Germany, when they conquered those countries. What was once considered a symbol of sin, gradually turned into an image of power and was now represented by the "golden orb", which, together with the sceptre were the emblems of royalty.
Serving size: 100 grams
Eat apple fruit as they are including skin to get maximum health benefits.
Sliced apple turns brown (enzymatic brownish discoloration) on exposure to air due to conversion in iron from ferrous oxide to ferric oxide. If you have to serve them sliced, rinse slices in water added with few drops of fresh lemon.
If apples have bruised areas, simply cut off, and grate the remaining apple into salads or cut into wedges and give to kids as an apple snack.