Saturday, September 20, 2014

An Apple Today, Still Keeps The Doctor Away...

   
 Ever since Adam ate that apple, it's been associated with sin

In the story of Adam and Eve, the apple became a symbol for knowledge, immortality, temptation, and the vehicle of man's falling into sin. Today, we refer to something we prize as, "The apple of our eye" Historically, carbonized remains of apples have been found by archeologists in prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland, dating back to the Iron Age. There is also evidence to show that apples were eaten and preserved by slicing and sun drying them during the Stone Age in Europe.

The first remains of apples that were found, are from around 6,500 B.C. in excavations at Jericho in the Jordan Valley. Also around 5,000 B.C. Feng Li, a Chinese diplomat, gave up his prestigious government position when he became consumed by grafting apples as a commercial venture according to "The Precious Book of Enrichment." Greek and Roman mythology referred to apples as symbols of love and beauty. Jump ahead to 1665 Sir Isaac Newton watches an apple fall to the ground, and wondering why it fell in a straight line, is inspired to discover the laws of gravity and motion. Robert Prince in 1737 established the first commercial apple tree nursery in America called William Prince Nursery in Flushing, New York. One of America's fondest legends is that of Johnny Appleseed, a folk hero and pioneer apple farmer in the 1800's. Well there really was a Johnny Appleseed, and his true name was John Chapmen. His dream was for the land to produce so many apples that no one would ever go hungry. Most historians today classify him as an eccentric but very smart businessman, who traveled around the new territories of his time, leasing land and developing nurseries of apple trees. It is estimated that he traveled 100,000 square miles of frontier country. Ahead to 1989, researchers at

Cornell University use a "gene gun" to successfully transfer an anti-bacterial gene from a Cecropia moth to a fireblight susceptible apple tree. This gene transfer from an animal to a plant enabled the tree to develop its own fireblight resistance. Here, agriculturalists and naturalists applaud, and chemical companies cringe. This puts land grant colleges of agriculture, in a bind because their funding comes from herbicide and pesticide manufacturers. Recently in 2000 researchers at the University of California discover powerful new anti-oxidants in apples. Here's some fun Apple facts:
  • There are 7,500 different apple varieties worldwide, and 2,500 grow in the U.S.
  • Apples can be as small as a cherry or as large as a grapefruit
  • Apple trees don't grow from seeds, they are grafted or budded
  • Apple trees can live to be 100 years old
  • 61% of apples are eaten fresh and 39% are processed into juice and sauce
  • Red Delicious is the most widely grown followed by Golden Delicious
  • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie.
  • A medium apple is about 80 calories.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float.
  • The largest apple picked weighed 3.2 pounds.

"An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away"


In the past five years, no area of apple research has been more dynamic than the area of apple polyphenols. The balance of  phytonutrients in apples is more unique than many researchers previously suspected. In terms of flavonols, quercetin is the primary phytonutrient found in apples, and it's far more concentrated in the skin than in the pulp. You might wonder why apples end up with such an amazing array of polyphenols. The recent research studies show polyphenols to be the favorite mechanism used by apples to protect themselves from UV-B sun radiation. Multiple studies have shown apple intake to be associated with decreased risk of asthma. French researchers found that a flavanoid called phloridzin that is found only in apples may protect post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and may also increase bone density. Boron, another ingredient in apples, also strengthens bones. A study on mice at Cornell University found that the quercetin in apples may protect brain cells from the kind of free radical damage that may lead to Alzheimer's disease.

Another Cornell University study found that rats who ate one apple per day reduced their risk of breast cancer by 17%. Rats fed three apples per day reduced their risk by 39% and those fed six apples per day reduced their risk by 44%. The pectin in apples, supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin and may help in the management of diabetes. Since most of the polyphenols in apples function as antioxidants, it's not surprising to see so many health benefit studies focusing on the antioxidant benefits from apple. Particularly strong is the ability of apples to decrease oxidation of cell membrane fats. This benefit is especially important in our cardiovascular system since oxidation of fat in the membranes of cells that line our blood vessels is a primary risk factor for clogging of the arteries.
 
The cardiovascular benefits of apples are well-documented in research studies, and they are closely associated with two aspects of apple nutrients, their water-soluble fiber, pectin content, and their unusual mix of polyphenols. Total cholesterol, and LDL-cholesterol are both decreased by eating  apples. Preliminary reliable health benefits of apples have  been established for several age-related health problems, like macular degeneration of the eye. According to a study of 10,000 people, those who ate the most apples had a 50% lower risk of developing lung cancer. Researchers believe this is due to the high levels of the flavonoids quercetin and naringin in apples. Researchers also claim lung cancer, and anti-asthma benefits. The pectin in apples supplies galacturonic acid to the body which lowers the body's need for insulin, and may help in the management of diabetes.
The apple is actually a member of the Rose family, Golden and Red Delicious apples are mild and sweet, while Pippins and Granny Smith apples are notably tart. Tart apples, that keep their texture during cooking, are preferred for cooked desserts like apple pie. Delicious apples, and other sweeter varieties like Rome and Fuji apples are usually eaten raw. Whole apples are a much better nutritional choice than apple juice. Not only are whole apples richer in dietary fiber, but the current processes of juicing seem to drastically reduce the polyphenolic phytonutrient concentrations originally found in the whole fruit. You've no doubt heard the saying, "one bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." Well, research studies agree. An apple that has been bruised from being dropped, or  damaged in some other way, it will start to release ethylene gas. Ethylene gas can damage the other apples. So handle your fruit with a little TLC, and remove any damaged apples from groups of apples that you are going to store store.

  • Popular varieties for eating are; gala, granny smiths, golden delicious, pink ladies, fujis, jonathons, mutsu, red delicious and spartans.
  • Other eating varieties are; cox orange pippins (very popular apple in England), braeburns (popular New Zealand graft variety), lady williams and gravensteins.
  • Apples that are good for cooking; granny smiths, cox orange pippins, gravensteins, lady williams and golden delicious.

    Now, to diffuse an urban myth, apple seeds do contain a small amount of cyanide, which is a lethal poison, but you are protected from the toxin by the hard seed coating. If you eat whole apple and seeds, they pass through your digestive system relatively untouched. If you chew the seeds thoroughly, you will be exposed to the chemicals inside the seeds, but the dose of toxins in an apple is small enough that most adult's can easily detoxify it, but possibly not children.So tell the kid's don't eat the core, where the seeds are. Aside from eating raw apples there there are the deserts. I don't think many of us can ignore the captivating aroma of a fresh out of the oven warm, but cooling apple pie, tarts, or fritters. Or maybe the mouth watering delight of a caramel dipped, or candied apple on a stick rolled in your favorite chopped nuts. Or a warm mug of apple cider, by a cozy fire after a long day of skiing. Or apple sauce with our turkey on Thanksgiving. Is there anything funnier than watching a bunch of kids bob for apples? You see apples aren't only good for us, they are just plain good. FYI according to the Environmental Working Group's 2013 report "Shopper's Guide to Pesticides," conventionally grown apples are among the top 12 fruits and vegetables on which excessive pesticide residues have been most frequently found.

    Therefore, to avoid pesticide-associated health risks, avoid eating apples unless they're organic. If you want to roll the dice, and purchase non-organic apples, you may want to ask your grocer about the kind of wax used to protect the apple's surface during storage or shipping. Carnauba wax (from the carnauba palm tree), beeswax, and shellac (from the lac beetle) are preferable to petroleum-based waxes, which contain solvent residues or wood resins. Eat them raw, eat them cooked, or another favorite have them with your favorite vodka. It's no secret apples are one of the truly great foods we could always add more of, to our lives. Good Luck...


    Appletini / Apple Martini


    It's best to chill both the vodka and the apple pucker.
    2 oz. Vodka
    1/2 oz. Apple Pucker Schnapps or,
    1/2 oz. Apple Juice or Cider  

    Combine ingredients in a shaker with ice. Shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.  
    Garnish with an Apple Slice


    Try Some Caramel Apples This Fall !!





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