You know how the saying goes: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” There is some truth to this century-old proverb: eating apples reduces the risk of getting a stroke and it’s also efficient in regulating the levels of bad cholesterols. They’re also good for your oral health, especially your teeth.
However, scientists couldn’t find any correlation between people’s regular consumption of apples and the number of times they visit a doctor or a physician. In fact, a study conducted on a group of overweight males showed that a diet including apple species that have high sugar and low phenol contents leads to an increase in triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
There are over 7,500 different types of apple currently cultivated around the world. If we listened to the old saying and started eating an apple a day, it would take us more than twenty years just to try them all!
The Origin of Apples
Apples originated in eastern Turkey and their tree is believed to be the first tree ever cultivated. For thousands of years, apples – and winter apples in particular – have been eaten in Europe and Asia. It was Alexander the Great who in 328 BC brought dwarf apples from Kazakhstan to Macedonia. They reached North America in 1625 when the first apple tree on the continent was planted in Boston. A technique called selection has been applied to improve the way apples tasted for as long as they’ve been around.
Not All Apples Are Meant to Be Eaten
Different types of apple vary in color, shape, size, nutritional value, as well as their vitamin content. They are most commonly used for eating, but many types are designed specifically for cooking and manufacturing of cider. As early as the 1600s, there were already types of apple in France, England, and the United States that weren’t eaten raw, but were instead cooked. These include Calville Blanc d’Hiver (known for its high vitamin C content), Catshead, and Rhode Island Greening.
Some of the most popular types of apple today include Red Delicious and McIntosh, as well as the famous Golden Delicious. Unlike the first two, the latter maintains its form when it’s baked, so it’s great for apple pies and a number of other oven-made treats. The bright green Granny Smith is arguably the most popular of the bunch and finds many uses in everyday diet. On the other hand, Liberty, Cortland, Dabinett, and Redfield are widely used to make cider, and are thus known as cider apple varieties.