Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?
The Apple, one of the most historic and widely grown fruits in the world, has a past as rich as the fruit itself. The original apple trees has been traced to Kazakhstan, where the most diverse varieties still grown wild till this day. From these early roots, the apple quickly travelled to Europe and the Far East. Today, there are more than 7,500 cultivars of apples to be tasted, with new varieties being devised every year. With over 70 million tons of apples being produced every year, the main areas of growth include China, the United States, Turkey, Italy, India and Poland.
Apples are most routinely consumed as a raw fruit, but the diversity of cooking techniques is truly astounding. In early America, apples were used to make cider, a beverage which was more widely consumed than water at the time. Due to the high probability of drinking from a tainted water supply, early Americans decided to consume the fermented juice from Apples to assure they would not get sick from local watering holes. As the quality of water supplies improved at the advent of the 20th century, apple cider became less popular. Apple trees can be a tricky plant to cultivate, since they are susceptible to infection, weather and frost. However, modern techniques have allowed apples to become commercially available during both summer and winter months.
Apples contain a high amount of pectin, vitamin C and fiber. Apple is a great source of natural sugars, and has a very low fat content.
Dietary Fiber – Dietary Fiber stimulates digestion and peristalsis, helping to relieve indigestion and constipation problems.
Vitamin C – Regular consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps the body develop resistance against infections and scavenges harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals. Vitamin C also helps to prevent respiratory problems such as asthma and lung cancer. Vitamin C has been shown to lower blood pressure, and therefore lessen the probability of hypertension.
Apples grow on trees during the summer months and mature in the early fall. Since this fruit stores well and is grown in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, you can find apples in your local supermarket year round.
Per 1 Medium Apple (182 grams):
Calories (cKal): 95
Protein (grams): .47
Total Fat (grams): .32
Carbohydrates (grams): 25.13
Fiber (grams): 4.34
Buying and Storing
When buying apples, make sure the fruit is firm to the touch and does not contain any holes. When storing at home, apples hold well in a cool, dry place for up to two months.
Best Way to Add to Your Diet
Apples make a great snack when consumed raw, just make sure to wash them under cold water for at least 30 seconds. Apples also make a great addition to a pie, sorbet or cake. Making apple cider is a bit complex, but well worth the effort and time.