Apples (Malus pumila)

Apples (Malus pumila)

I grew up hearing, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” which is an old Welsh proverb. Let’s take a look at what makes this fruit special and beneficial for our health.

ABOUT:

The apple (Malus pumila) is a member of the rose family. It is a crisp, white fleshed fruit with a red, yellow, or green skin. It’s a fruit that’s mainly composed of carbs and water, and are rich in simple sugars, such as fructose, sucrose, and glucose. Apples are very rich in fiber. A single medium-sized apple contains about 4 grams of fiber, about 17% of the recommended daily intake.

To prevent browning when slicing apples for. a recipe, simply put the slices in a bowl of cold water with a spoonful of lemon juice added.

In the United States, there are more than twenty-five varieties of apples available. These apples vary in color and flavor. From your mild and sweet Golden Delicious to your Granny Smith which is tart and sour.

HEALTH BENEFITS:

Apples are an excellent source of vitamin C, potassium, pectin, and other fibers. Most of the important nutrients are located in the skin of the apple. Raw apples also contain important phytochemicals such as ellagic acid and flavonoids.

The old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” appears to be true. In an analysis of more than eighty-five studies, apple consumption was shown to be consistently assocated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, asthma, and type 2 diabetes compared to other fruits and vegetables. In one of the studies evaluated, researchers in Finland followed more than 5,000 Finnish men and women for more than twenty years. Those who ate the most apples and other flavonoid-rich foods, such as onions and tea, were found to have a 20 percent lower risk of heart disease than those who ate the smallest amount of these foods.

Apples’ insoluble fiber and pectin both help promote bowel regularity, relieving both constipation and diarrhea. In fact, one well-known over-the-counter diarrhea remedy, Kaopectate, actually contains a form of pectin.

In the Northern Hemisphere, apple season begins at the end of summer and runs until early winter.

PREPARING:

The skin of the apple is unusually rich in nutrients, and even if the recipe you’ve chosen requires peeled apples, consider leaving the skins on to receive the unique benefits found in the skins. Ideally, of course, choose organic apples to avoid problems related to pesticide residues and other contaminants on the skins. If you cannot obtain organic apples, and you are willing to accept some level of risk related to consumption of residues on the apple skins, we believe that it can still be a good trade-off between nutrients and contaminants if you leave the skin of the apple intact and eat the apple unpeeled. Just be sure to thoroughly rinse the entire apple under a stream of pure water while gently scrubbing the skin with a natural bristle brush for 10-15 seconds.

SERVING:

-Apple slices with your favorite nut butter

-Adding an apple to your smoothie

-Eating with yogurt

-Baking or sautéing

-Skewer apple chunks on cinnamon sticks and bake at 350 degrees F for 25 min

Murray, Michael T.,PIZZORNO, JOSEPH. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods.

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