Apples: Powerhouse Fruit With Lots of Versatility
Apples: More Versatile Than You Think
If you’re not located near the more abundant apple growing regions of the world, you may not appreciate how versatile apples are. This fruit comes in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and taste variations, many more than the two or three you’re accustomed to buying from your local grocery.
Apple trees adapt well to the environment, so they are grown in just about every corner of the world. They can be used in a variety of dishes for every meal of the day. Let's explore some of the finer aspects of apples to learn why they are so widely accepted as core fruits for most healthy diets.
Apple trees, as most people know, produce the fruit we know as apples. Most often, there are good selections of yellow, green, and red apples at the store, and most have white flesh interiors that vary in texture from soft to crisp. They also vary in taste from sweet to tart, making them one of the more versatile fruits you can buy for recipes.
Apples have reportedly been in existence for over 4,000 years. Early settlers first brought apples to the United States in the early 1600's. They quickly became a valuable staple food for most households, due to their versatility. Homemakers found them easy to store, canned or dried them for long-lasting value, and used them in a number of recipes. Apples remain popular in most countries for the same reasons today.
Apples have proven health benefits for prevention of things like bone loss, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and even diabetes. The skin and pulp of apples are the reason behind these health benefits, both being a rich source of vitamin C and other nutrients. Apples are also organically sodium, fat, and cholesterol free.
Pectin in the meaty part of the apple that helps manage diabetes by supplying galacturonic acid, lowering the body's need for insulin. Phloridzin, a flavanoid found only in apples, is believed to help protect menopausal women from osteoporosis. Also, boron, a nutrient found in apple skins, has been discovered to strengthen our bones.
As stated previously, apple trees thrive in natural environments. Some trees can survive for more than a century. Currently, more than 7,500 varieties of apples are grown around the world, 2,500 in the United States alone. Red Delicious is one of the more popular varieties in the U.S., followed closely by Golden Delicious. Granny Smith apples are another popular flavor used in many American recipes.
Americans eat more than 70 apples a year on average. Being free of salt, fat, and cholesterol, as well as being an excellent source of vitamin C and dietary fiber, it's no wonder doctors claim to recommend eating one every day.