Beneficial Foods 2.1 – Apples

It is Fall and one of the things we think of most in the fall is apples! I love taking my kids to the orchards and picking apples straight from the trees. No apple looks the same, they don’t have that shiny polished gleam, they are just beautiful, imperfect and amazingly delicious!!
Apples have a long history and can be dated back to the Tien Shan Mountains of Kazakhstan millions of years ago.(1) It is not unheard of to find trees, still bearing fruit, that are over a hundred years old on the mountain slopes and in the river valleys of Zailiiskii and Djungarskii mountain ranges.(4)
Apples were not always as popular as they are today. In the middle ages it was thought that apples caused stomach ailments and deemed unsuitable for children and wet nurses to consume at all. Some of the fear around apples was also the cause of the Christian movement throughout Europe and the telling of the Garden of Eden story, leading people to believe that eating apples was bad for your moral health as well as your physical health.(4)

Around the 14th century it was thought that cooking apples made them okay to eat. So, making desserts, purees and broths became the new fashion. The belief was that adding spices and heat took away the impurities of the fruit. Horticulture continued to evolve and the best seeds were retained for growing. Many royal and noble families began filling their courtyards with apple and other fruit trees strictly for their beauty.(4)

Farmers began growing apple orchards to help their farms financially throughout the winter months; since apple trees needed little care during the summer months and could be harvested in the fall and early winter months, not interfering with other crop production. It also allowed for more jobs for the poor since it was found that the whole apple, except the seeds, could be used to dry, make jams and jellies and turned into fermented cider and vinegar, all which could get them through winter months.(4)

When settlers came over to America they brought clippings and seeds to grow apples specifically for fermented cider, which was served at meals instead of water due to poor sanitation.(1) The making of cider and other fermented drinks has been around for so long that the origins are unknown. There have been findings that the Celts, Greeks and Romans all had fermented apple drinks. Fermented cider was used as payment for many things in the new world and throughout Europe.(1,4) Just as an interesting side note; it takes about 36 apples to produce one gallon of cider. And what we call “cider” today used to be referred to as juice, whereas Cider meant what we would consider Hard Cider or containing alcohol.

Apples, like many fruits, do not breed true to seed; meaning each seed or pip can be a different kind of apple regardless of the apple variety it came from. As humans have adapted the growing of apple trees over the years we have retained control over which types of apples survive and can purposely produce the varieties that we want.(4) There are now more than 2,500 varieties of apples grown in the United States, and more varieties grown worldwide.(3) Apples are one of the most heavily pesticide contaminated produce on the market to date. Wash it well using a produce scrub brush and buy organic as often as possible.(2)

Apples have an amazing amount of vitamins and minerals:

Vitamin A – 65 IU – 2%DV

Vitamin B6 – .1mg – 3%DV

Vitamin C – 5.7mg – 10%DV

Vitamin E – .2mg – 1%DV

Vitamin K – 2.8mcg – 3%DV

Thiamin – 1%DV

Riboflavin – 2%DV

Niacin – 1%DV

Folate – 3.8mcg – 1%DV

Pantothenic Acid – 1%DV

Choline – 4.2mg

Betaine – .1mg

Calcium – 7.5mg – 1%DV

Iron – 1%DV

Magnesium – 6.3mg – 2%DV

Phosphorus – 13.8mg – 1%DV

Potassium – 134mg – 4%DV

Pyridoxine – 3%DV

Sodium – 1.3mg

Copper – 2%DV

Manganese – 2%DV

Flouride – 4.1mcg

Sugars – 13g

Dietary Fiber – 3g – 12%DV

All calculations were for one medium apple with the skin on.(1,2,5)

One of the things that apples are most known for is the fiber content. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. The insoluble fiber creates “bulk” in the intestines which retains water; this water helps to move food quickly through the digestive tract and into the bowels. This movement also helps to bind and flush harmful toxins from the body and protecting the mucous membrane lining the intestines, making apples a great contender for fighting cancer along with the high polyphenol content. The soluble fiber, pectin, helps keep cholesterol from building up in the blood vessel. (1,2,6)

Apples are also a good source for Vitamin C, adding to the adage “an apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” Half of the Vitamin C content is found just under the skin, also where the fiber resides, so consuming the skin is super important.(6)

The research and information about apples was so extensive that, I will have to make a Part 2 of this article! For now enjoy your apples!!

1. Hungry History – All about apples – website

2. Nutrition and You – Apples – website

3. Farmer Flavor – Apples – Website

4. The New Book of Apples…, Joan Morgan & Allison Richards, Ebury Press 2002

5. Self – Nutrition Data – Apples – Website

6. Live Science – Apples – website


About Pure Energy Lifestyle

I am a Certified Massage Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer, Wife, and Mother of two incredibly active children. I am promoting a healthy and active lifestyle for all people at any stage of health

Posted on October 14, 2015, in Food and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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