Apple

Apples are commonly referred to as one of the healthiest foods available to man today. They are rich in fiber and vitamin C, yet low in calories and virtually free of sodium, fat, and cholesterol. People more familiar with chemistry also know that apples are rich in polyphenols, which have antioxidant properties. By the way, these substances accumulate to a greater extent in the peel of the fruit, so unpeeled fruits are healthier. Apples can relieve symptoms of asthma and Alzheimer's. They are useful for losing weight, strengthening bones, improving the functioning of the respiratory and digestive systems.

Do you think that Is that all the healing properties of apples? Wrong! No wonder all over the world these crispy fruits with ruddy sides are considered magical food.

What is this fruit?

An apple is the fruit of a tree belonging to the Rosaceae family. Researchers suggest that the first gardens of these trees appeared on the fertile soil of the mountain ranges of Kazakhstan. Archaeologists have found evidence that as early as the 7th millennium BC, people already knew and ate apples. Over the centuries, thousands of varieties and hybrids of this culture have appeared. Some of them were brought by nature itself, some are the work of man. The color, shape, taste and aroma of fruits are determined by their variety.

All apple trees are usually divided into several varieties:

  • summer (ripen in July);
  • autumn (ripe in September);
  • winter (ripe by the end of autumn).

The most popular summer varieties

  • White filling - round fruits, first greenish, and then almost white, fragrant, with loose pulp and sour taste;
  • Melba - round-elongated, yellowish with a blush, with white sweet and sour pulp and the smell of sweets;
  • Mantet - green-red fruits of a round-oblong shape, cream-colored flesh, not sour;
  • Moscow pear - flattened fruits, pale green with a pinkish blush, fragrant, juicy and sour;
  • Candy - rounded, with a red blush and tender white flesh.

Autumn varieties

  • Macintosh - green-yellow with purple stripes, white flesh with reddish veins, spicy;
  • Shtreifling - green-yellow with characteristic brown-orange stripes, the flesh is pale yellow, juicy, with a raspberry flavor;
  • Glory to the winners - a hybrid of White Bulk and McIntosh varieties, green with a red blush, fragrant and creamy flesh;
  • Zhigulevskoe - yellow with red stripes, the flesh is creamy, granular, sour.
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Winter varieties

  • Antonovka - yellowish-golden, flesh is white, sour, crispy;
  • Jonathan - yellow-green with a red blush, sometimes covered with a net, juicy, cream-colored flesh;
  • Saffron pepin - rounded, greenish-yellowish, creamy flesh, wine-sweet, aromatic;
  • Golden Delicious - conical fruits, golden, juicy, creamy flesh;
  • Sinap Orlovsky - oblong fruits of golden color, with sour pulp.

Nutritional value

Over the past few years, scientists have made many discoveries about the chemical composition of apples. The complex of phytonutrients in these fruits turned out to be much wider than previously thought. One of the main phytonutrients is called quercetin, the main reserves of which are concentrated in the peel. The fruits also contain no less useful flavonoids - kaempferol and myricetin. The red varieties are rich in anthocyanins, which also accumulate mainly in the peel. Since most of the polyphenols found in apples have antioxidant properties, it is not surprising that studies show the beneficial effects of fruits on the body.

Vitamin C found in apples is also a powerful natural antioxidant that can block some of the cell damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin B complex is important for maintaining a healthy nervous system and building red blood cells. Fiber is useful for improving digestion, preventing many diseases, as well as maintaining cholesterol within the normal range. And phytonutrients prevent malignant degeneration of cells.

Nutritional value per 100 g apples (with skin)
Calories 52 kcal
Proteins 0.27 g
Fats 0.18 g
Carbohydrates 13.82 g
Water 85.53 g
Vitamin A 6.2 μg
Vitamin B1 0.06 mg
Vitamin B2 0.05 mg
Vitamin B3 0.1 mg
Vitamin B5 0.1 mg
Vitamin B6 0.08 mg
Vitamin B9 3.2 mcg
Vitamin C 5.1 mg
Vitamin E 0.2 mg
Vitamin K 2.21 mcg
Calcium 6.2 mg
Iron 0.14 mg
Magnesium 5.2 mg
Manganese 0.06 mg
Phosphorus 11.2 mg
Potassium 108 mg

Benefits for the body

Laboratory E experiments prove that phytonutrients and antioxidants contained in apples reduce the risk of developing cancer, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, heart and vascular diseases.

Numerous scientific studies show that these fruits are among the healthiest and should be included in the daily diet of people who care about their health. Here are just a few of the benefits of these fruits tested by researchers.

More than 10 years ago, scientists discovered quercetin in apples. This substance belongs to antioxidants, and in these fruits it is contained in an extremely large amount. Through scientific experiments, it was found that this chemical compound prevents the death of nerve cells caused by oxidation and inflammation of neurons.

Another study found that apple juice activates the brain's production of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, which improves memory in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Another experience convinced scientists that people who eat these fruits are less likely to develop dementia. It has been found that apple juice prevents brain aging and protects its cells from free radicals, and serves as a preventive measure for Parkinson's disease.

Stroke Prevention

Nearly 10,000 men and women participated in the study, which lasted over 20 years. Summing up the results, the scientists suggested that apple lovers are less likely to develop a stroke.

Healthy cholesterol levels

After another experiment, American scientists called apples miracle fruits. The researchers noticed that if you eat several fruits daily, the so-called "bad" cholesterol is reduced by 23%, and "good" cholesterol grows by 4%. It took the participants six months to achieve this effect.

Protection against anemia

Due to the high content of iron, in folk medicine, apples are one of the most popular remedies for anemia. Anemia is caused by a deficiency of hemoglobin in the blood. You can easily fix the problem by including in your diet foods rich in iron, a mineral that is key in the formation of red blood cells.

Apples are an effective and tasty way to do this.

Prevention of diabetes

Apples also help prevent the development of diabetes. A study of nearly 200,000 people showed that people who consumed apples, grapes, raisins, blueberries, or pears three times a week were 7% less likely to develop the disease. The scientists also determined that the rich content of soluble fiber in apples prevents hyperglycemia (a sharp increase of sugar in the blood).

Excessive accumulation of cholesterol causes the formation of gallstones. Regular consumption of apples helps prevent the problem. In addition, the apple diet is considered the most effective way to detoxify the liver.

These fruits are also useful for people with intestinal disorders. Fiber from apples will equally effectively relieve constipation and diarrhea, relieve symptoms of irritable bowel, flatulence, and relieve abdominal pain. Also, these fruits are important for the prevention of hemorrhoids.

Boosting immunity

Apples (especially red varieties) contain a high concentration of the antioxidant quercetin. This substance is considered one of the most useful for strengthening the protective functions of the body, so it is important for people with weakened immunity to introduce red apples into their diet.

Protection against cancer

Every year there is more and more evidence that even 1 apple a day will help prevent breast cancer, liver and colon tumors. Researchers attribute this phenomenon to the presence of phenolic substances in fruits. These chemical compounds have many useful properties. To enhance the effect, the researchers still urge to avoid fruit monotony in the diet and alternate apples with other healthy fruits.

Benefits for teeth

Apples will not replace a toothbrush, but they do provide some benefits for teeth. In particular, chewing crunchy fruits stimulates the production of saliva. And it, in turn, has a detrimental effect on the bacteria contained in the oral cavity, thereby preventing the risk of caries.

In a long-term study, scientists determined that people whose diet included apples regularly and in sufficient quantities were 15% less likely to develop cataracts. The reason for this is called the antioxidants contained in the fruit.

Weight Loss Benefits

In addition to being extremely rich in fiber, which is the best way to fight hunger, these fruits have other benefits for people who want to lose weight. Research results show that these fruits speed up metabolism, which means that calories in the body are burned faster than usual, and some of them are not absorbed at all. Millions of people around the world choose apples as a key ingredient in their weight loss diet. In addition, nutritionists have developed several versions of the apple diet to help overweight people.

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Apples in cosmetology: benefits and harms

Pureed fruits mixed with honey or milk is an effective anti-aging agent for the skin. Apples, being powerful antioxidants, protect the skin from the harmful effects of free radicals, early aging and the formation of age spots. To cleanse and moisturize the skin, you can use slices of fresh fruit (rub your face and wait until the juice is absorbed). Also, the apple-cream mixture is an excellent remedy for acne, blackheads and acne. And natural apple cider vinegar can be used as a means to restore a healthy skin pH (dip a cotton swab in the liquid, wipe the face). To get rid of dark circles around the eyes and swelling of the eyelids, it is enough to apply slices of a juicy apple for 10 minutes (alternatively, you can make a mask of apple cider and mashed potatoes ).

This tasty fruit is also good for hair. Products containing apple concentrate stimulate the growth of curls, strengthen them, make them shiny and prevent baldness.

In addition, fruit remedies are also effective in eliminating dandruff. The easiest way to apple therapy: rinse curls with juice or apple cider vinegar.

Cooking Uses

Nutritionists say that the healthiest way to eat apples is to eat them raw and with the skin on. But if raw fruits are already tired, there are many interesting and tasty variations on the theme of apples in cooking. Here are some of them:

  1. Bake fruit with cinnamon stuffed with cottage cheese or oatmeal.
  2. As a garnish, cook apples fried with onions.
  3. Bring fruit slices to a boil and rub through a sieve - you get a delicious puree.
  4. Adding fruit slices to pancake batter is a delicious breakfast option.
  5. Roast with Turkey or Chicken.
  6. Make soup with carrots, apple and ginger.
  7. Cook compote.
  8. Salt for the winter.
  9. Add to salads.
  10. Roast the apple rings.
  11. Make apple chips.
  12. Prepare the pie filling.
  13. Make a fruit shake or smoothie.

How else to use apples?

Perhaps, many housewives happened to oversalt the soup. There are various tricks for removing excess salt from the finished dish. One of them is with apples. It is enough to boil a couple of fruit pieces in the soup for a few minutes, and they will absorb excess salt.

Apples can also be used as a natural air freshener or as a catalyst for green fruit ripening (place them with apples in a paper bag). And if you want to keep the freshness of the bread longer, put pastries and a slice of apple in an airtight container.

Potential dangers of fruits

Generally, apples do not cause any serious side effects. But it is important to know that the seeds of these fruits contain amygdalin, which can cause the formation of cyanide, which is a powerful poison. Although a couple of seeds are certainly not dangerous, but excessive consumption can even be fatal. Chemists calculated the lethal dose of cyanide: 1 mg of the substance per 1 kg of body weight. 1 kilogram of apple seeds contains almost 700 mg of cyanide. Thus, 100 g of seeds can be a fatal dose for a 70-kilogram person. But in practice, eating such an amount is almost impossible. One apple seed weighs about 0.7 g, which means that in order to get a lethal dose of cyanide, you will have to eat 143 seeds. And given that there are no more than 8 seeds in 1 apple, it turns out that a fatal outcome is possible if you eat 18 apples with seeds in one sitting.

Sour apples are a potential danger to teeth. The acid contained in the fruit causes damage to the enamel. Dentists advise chewing such fruits with the back teeth, after cutting off small pieces with a knife. And immediately after a snack, rinse your mouth with water to wash away unnecessary acid and sugar.

Another possible disadvantage of apples is pesticides. To get rid of "chemistry", it is enough to wash the fruits well under running warm water.

How to select and store properly

First rule: look for hard fruits with rich color. When choosing, taste is very important, so pay attention to the gastronomic characteristics of the variety.

Ripe fruits can be stored for several months. In this case, the variety is also a key factor. Low temperature (up to 2-4 degrees Celsius) and high humidity are ideal conditions for fruit storage.

When buying or harvesting apples for storage, it is important to carefully inspect each fruit, immediately remove rotten or damaged apples from the boxes. Fruits with "bruises" secrete substances that accelerate the deterioration of healthy fruits.

Apples are called one of the most popular and delicious fruits on the planet. They are remembered when it is necessary to satisfy hunger or thirst, they are used as a dessert and as an ingredient in main dishes. The benefits of apples were known even by the ancient Greeks, Romans and Scandinavian tribes. They were valued in Asia and the Americas. Today it is difficult to imagine life without apples and delicious juice from these fruits.

Sources
  1. American Chemical Society (ACS) Publications. – Polyphenolic Compounds and Antioxidant Activity of New and Old Apple Varieties.
  2. Mathias Jung, Sven Triebel, Timm Anke, Elke Richling, Gerhard Erkel, 2009.– Influence of Apple Polyphenols on Inflammatory Gene Expression.
  3. U. S. department of agriculture. – Apples, raw, with skin.
  4. Cai-Ning Zhao, Xiao Meng, Ya Li, Sha Li, Qing Liu, Guo-Yi Tang and Hua-Bin Li, Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI). – Fruits for Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Diseases.
  5. Athanasios Koutsos, Kieran M. Tuohy and Julie A. Lovegrove, Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI). – Apples and cardiovascular health.
  6. Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health. – The nutrition source: apples.
  7. ScienceDaily. – Compound in Apples May Help Fight Alzheimer's Disease.
  8. Cambridge University Press. – Apple intake and cancer risk: a systematic review and meta-analysis of observational studies.
  9. PLOS Medicine. – Changes in Intake of Fruits and Vegetables and Weight Change in United States Men and Women Followed for Up to 24 Years: Analysis from Three Prospective Cohort Studies.
  10. Journal “Technologies of the food and processing industry of the agro-industrial complex - healthy food products”. - The study of the quality and safety indicators of apples zoned in the Krasnodar Territory.
  11. Russian quality system (Internet portal). - Are all apples equally useful?.