The health benefits of apples are significant and who doesn’t love the taste of a freshly picked apple or a warm apple pie in the fall? We all remember the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”. Aside from being a memorable childhood rhyme, it is based on the fact that apples have great health benefits and an interesting history to go with it.
In the springtime, apple trees are filled with blossoming flowers. In the autumn, the flowers begin to fall off and the fruit begins to grow. Orchard owners can look forward to each year’s crop being more plentiful than the last with the proper pollination and fertilization.
37 Facts about Apples
1. The apple originated in Asia
2. It is believed that apples predate other types of fruit trees that were being grown and harvested to provide food.
3. The Romans were the first to take the earliest version of apples, which were small and didn’t taste very good, and turned them into something similar to what we eat today with cross-pollination.
4. Today there are over 7,500 varieties of apples
5. Apples were brought to America by colonists. They came over as seeds on ships from England.
6. Johnny Appleseed was an American folk hero who made it his life’s work to spread the taste and beauty of apples across the nation. He taught people to grow their own apple trees and how to tend to their apple orchards.
7. There is evidence found by archeologists that suggest apples were being eaten as far back as 6500 B.C.
8. China produces the most apples in the world.
9. The apple is the official fruit of West Virginia, New York, Rhode Island, and Washington.
10. The largest apple ever picked weighed 3 pounds and 2 ounces.
11. 65 apples per year are eaten by the average person.
12. 25% of an apple’s volume is air, therefore it can float.
13. The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
14. One medium apple is the recommended serving size
15. One apple contains about 65 calories.
16. Apples contain Vitamin A, Calcium and Iron all at about 1% of your daily recommended intake. Vitamin C can be found in a medium apple at 10% of your daily intake.
17. One apple also provides 12% of what is recommended daily for dietary fiber.
18. The skin of an apple contains pectin. Pectin can help remove toxic substances from the system by supplying galacturonic acid. This is used to help prevent protein matter in the intestine from spoiling.
19. Studies have shown children with asthma that drink apple juice daily suffered less wheezing than those with asthma that don’t drink apple juice regularly.
20. Researchers believe that the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples may have a beneficial effect in inhibiting the formation of cancer. When rats were tested it was found that the risk of breast cancer was lessened by 17 percent when just one apple per day was eaten. Further studies showed rats fed three apples reduced risks up to 39 percent and when fed six apples per day lessened the risk by an amazing 44 percent. Another research linked to cancer was that of extract from an apple’s skin. It was found that rats fed the extract from the apple skin reduced their risk of liver cancer by 57 percent.
21. Researchers have also found that a flavanoid called phloridzin, which is found only in apples, may protect women in menopause from the onset of osteoporosis. Phloridzin also increases bone density. Another ingredient found in apples that increases bone density is boron.
22. Apples are also useful in the management of diabetes. Galacturonic acid, found in apples, lowers the body’s need for insulin.
23. The pectin in apples, which is where the galacturonic acid is derived from, can also help lower “bad” cholesterol by as much as 16 percent when two apples per day are eaten regularly.
24. Apples take between 4 and 5 years to produce their first fruit. A standard size apple tree will bear fruit 8-10 years after being planted, a dwarf tree in 3 to 5 years.
25. Most apples are still picked by hand.
26. The fear of apples is known as Malusdomesticaphobia. The name comes from the scientific name for apples which is Malus domestica.
27. The average apple has 10 seeds.
28. Freshly made apple juice will turn brown as soon as it has contact with the air because of oxidation.
29. To prevent fresh apple juice from turning brown add a few squeezes of either lime or lemon.
30. Apple trees can live to be 100 years old.
31. Apples are members of the rose family.
32. Apples come in a wide range of sizes. They can be as small as a cherry or as big as a grapefruit.
33. Most apple blossoms start out pink but end up turning white.
34. Apples will ripen 6 to 10 times faster at room temperature versus if they were put in the refrigerator.
35. It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
36. A peck of apples weighs 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weighs around 42 pounds.
37. Apples account for around 50% of international deciduous fruit tree production.
Aside from being one of the tastiest fruits available, apples can be prepared in so many ways. An apple by itself is a great treat. Now take that apple, cut it into slices, sprinkle some sugar, brown sugar, and butter on it, top with a crumbly topping of oats, raisins, and nuts, bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes and you got yourself apple crisp. A wonderful fall snack. Apple is also super tasty when used as an ingredient in main dishes like pork and sauerkraut.
A traditional way to prepare apples is in a pie. Nothing can beat a fresh-baked apple pie anytime of the year.
Don’t forget about caramel apples. Simply melt some caramel in a double boiler, insert a stick into the middle of the apple and submerge into the caramel. This is a great smack and fun to prepare with the kids. Babies are not left out of experiencing apples either. Although taking a big bite out of an apple is not going to happen for a baby with no teeth, applesauce is a staple of a baby’s diet.
The list of health benefits of apples goes on and on, these are just a few. Apples are an all-around great food. They provide vitamins and minerals your body needs, help in the prevention and treatment of some specific illnesses and let us not forget how amazing they taste in all the variety of ways that an apple can be prepared. The health benefits of apples not only adds weight to the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but also bring a smile to your face when you bite into the familiar fruit that has been a part of so many of our lives since childhood.