When we talk about the apple, we are talking about one of the most popular fruits that we always have in our kitchen.
In addition, it is an essential fruit if we want to have a healthy diet since it offers us a great variety of benefits to our health.
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What is the apple?
The apple is also called ” but” in some areas of Spain. Likewise, it is an edible fruit that comes from the apple tree (Malus domestica) and is from the Rosaceae family.
It is the oldest fruit of humanity and is part of our history. In addition, the apple tree is the most cultivated worldwide. It is very rich in pectin, a healthy nutrient common in all its varieties.
Types of apples
There are wide varieties of apples which can be classified into four colours: red, yellow, green or bicolor, in which the following stand out:
It is an apple that we find pretty typically in our markets. Its colour varies between pink and red. This variety is within the sweet fruits.
Gala or Royal Gala apple
This variety is another of the apples that can be found in our markets. The colour is yellowish with red and orange stripes. The most common is to eat it curd, but this variety is recommended for cooking or roasting it. It is also within the group of sweet fruits.
Manzana Red Delicious
Although it is less sweet than the previous ones, it is also within the sweets group. It is used to eat raw in different salads, accompanying other vegetables, rice or pasta. Its colour is dark red.
Manzana Granny Smith
We find an apple that is within the group of acidic fruits. Its skin is intense green, losing the intensity in its pulp. It is used both raw and for different recipes.
Loaded with symbolism in many cultures, it is the forbidden fruit that, as the Bible tells us, expelled Adam and Eve from Paradise.
In addition, according to ancient cultures, this food had a different meaning. Similarly, for the Greeks, it symbolized wisdom and immortality. It also highlights the feminine beauty and immortality that represents the goddess Idun in Norwegian mythology.
In Eastern cultures, it also has meaning, symbolizing peace in Chinese culture.
Origin of the apple
Some data places the origin of the apple tree in temperate zones of central Asia, actually between the regions of China, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. From this region, it expanded to other areas of Asia, the East and Europe.
Contrary to other fruits we have already discussed, the apple travelled from Europe to America. Indeed, in the different expeditions that were carried out after discovering the new world.
Apple producing countries
Being a trendy fruit all over the planet, it is one of the most consumed. The production of the apple invoices a large sum of money per year.
The countries that lead the ranking of major exporters of these foods are the United States, China, Italy, Chile, France, Poland, New Zealand, South Africa, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The season in Spain runs from August to January approximately. For this reason, we can find apples in season almost all year round.
You can check the calendar of the fruit season to be able to consume these foods at their most optimal moment. In addition, when they are in season, they provide us with more benefits for our health; they have a better aroma and are tastier, among other advantages.
How do you eat apples?
An ancient English proverb says: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away. ” Its translation means that “an apple a day from the doctor would free you.”
Many nutritionists recommend eating an apple a day. Taking it to the extreme is unnecessary, but the apple meets all the requirements to be a perfect fruit. Consequently, it is ideal to include it in our daily diet thanks to its benefits to our health.
It is best to eat it raw, fresh and in season. These foods provide us with properties that are beneficial to our health.
We can also eat this fruit in other ways. We can use them in recipes such as salads with different vegetables, pasta or rice.
In addition, it is ideal in recipes accompanying fish, meat, or stews. It is also used in various dessert recipes and as a puree. In addition, it is perfect for taking it in fruit juice, alone or combined with other fruits or vegetables.
When we talk about the apple, we talk about a food that is nutritionally very beneficial for the health of our body.
It is a very hydrating fruit with a high water content of 85%. In this way, it helps us hydrate ourselves.
The sugars in apples are mainly fructose, having a lower proportion of glucose and sucrose. Therefore, they are easily absorbed and digested by our bodies.
It is not a food distinguished by its proteins since, like fat, they are a minority in this food.
As far as vitamins are concerned, we can say that it is rich in antioxidants since it provides us with vitamin E and vitamin C. Likewise, the latter can be of different proportions depending on the variety in question.
The Reinetas type is the one with the highest amount of vitamin C. In addition, this food also has vitamins of group B favourable for the nervous system.
About minerals, potassium stands out. It is also beneficial for the nervous system. In addition, it provides our diet with small amounts of zinc, manganese, sulphur, fluorine, iodine, boron or selenium.
Fibre is one of its healthiest properties since it gives us about 3 grams in each piece. The thread is found in its pulp and especially in its skin. Eating the apple with its skin well washed to benefit from its line is advisable.
Nutritional information per 100 grams of raw apple:
|Calories||46 kcal||40,6 kcal||41,5 kcal|
|Carbohydrates||11,7 g||10,5 g||10,5 g|
|Fiber||1,7 g||2,3 g||1,5 g|
|Potassium||99 mg||100 mg||110 mg|
|Magnesium||5 mg||5,6 mg||4 mg|
|Provitamina A||4 mcg||4 mcg||1,5 mcg|
|C vitamin||3 mg||12,4 mg||4 mg|
|Vitamin E||0,5 mg||0,4 mg||0,5 mg|
It is a fruit that is recommended for the whole family and to eat it anywhere. Several scientific studies specify a direct relationship between the consumption of apples and a lower risk of suffering from circulatory and respiratory diseases and diabetes.
Among all its benefits, we can highlight the following:
Ideal for weight loss diets
1. The apple is ideal for weight loss diets, as it contains a lot of water and few calories. In addition, it is a food rich in fibre. As a consequence, it is considered a satiating food.
In one study, people who ate apple slices before a meal felt fuller than those who ate applesauce, apple juice, or no apple products.
In the same study, those who started their meal with apple slices also ate an average of 200 fewer calories than those who didn’t.
2. Fruit burns fat
Similarly, being rich in pectin, it is a fruit that helps us burn fat. Also, we always recommend exercising regularly. Doing sports periodically helps us lose weight and avoid certain diseases.
3. Helps lower cholesterol
It provides us with nutrients such as pectin and flavonoids. Consequently, two elements are combined to help us reduce bad cholesterol. Therefore, it is a good food for preventing certain coronary diseases.
4. Apples can be good for your heart
According to published studies, apple consumption has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease. One reason may be that apples contain soluble fibre. In addition, the type of fibre that can help reduce blood cholesterol levels.
They also contain polyphenols, which have antioxidant effects. Many of these are concentrated on the skin. One of these polyphenols is the flavonoid epicatechin, which can lower blood pressure.
For this reason, it is always recommended to eat these foods with the skin.
5. Regulates intestinal transit
Thanks to its high fibre content, it helps us regulate intestinal transit. In addition, its consumption helps reduce diarrhea.
6. They can have prebiotic effects
The type of fibre in apples feeds good bacteria and may be why they protect against obesity, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
Apples contain pectin, a type of fibre that acts as a prebiotic. This means that it feeds the good bacteria in your gut.
The small intestine does not absorb fibre during digestion. Instead, it goes to the colon, where it can promote the growth of good bacteria. It is also converted into other valuable compounds circulating back through the body.
7. Suitable for diabetics
It is rich in fructose, an ally of people with diabetes since this element does not require insulin to be absorbed. Also, eating apples is linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. This is possibly due to its content of antioxidant polyphenols.
Several studies have linked apple consumption to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes.
According to another study, eating an apple a day was associated with a 28% lower risk of type 2 diabetes than not eating apples. Even eating just a few apples per week had a similar protective effect.
To conclude, we can say that apple consumption is ideal for our diet. In the same way, it is a food that is essential in any kitchen.
In addition, it can be consumed in various ways, anywhere and outside the home, in a very comfortable way. It is liked by everyone and, in addition, it is very beneficial for our health.
We can buy seasonal apples practically throughout the year in any of its varieties. Likewise, an apple a day helps us prevent some diseases. Consequently, it is a highly recommended fruit to include in our diet since it has favourable health benefits.
My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .
I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.