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Apple

The clean crisp sweet and tart bite into an apple is known to most of us. There are thousands of varieties that are eaten fresh, used in cooking or juices as a drink. Apples are rich source fiber, vitamin c and antioxidants that protect your heart, are great for your lungs and cool you in heat conditions.

Apple
The thermal nature is cooling.
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What it is

An apple is the fruit of the apple tree. The mature ripe fruit is round in shape and often slightly tapered towards the base, and usually 5 to 9 cm in diameter. The outer skin can range in color from a deep crimson red to a light lemony yellow to a vibrant bright green all with a creamy white colored flesh. The texture of the flesh ranges from tender to very crisp, and the flavor from sweet to a more sour taste. There is a texture and flavor for everyone. 

Through the center of the apple, from end to end there is a “core” which opens into a five star arrangement of seeds surrounded by a papery layer. 

The apple originates in Central Asia where wild apples can still be found.  China is the worlds largest producer of apples, followed the US. Today apples are one of the most widely cultivated fruit in the world with varieties numbering in the thousands. 

There are varieties suited to temperate and subtropical climates. Most are produced to be eaten fresh but some are specifically developed for cooking or the production of cider and vinegar.

Common Varieties of Apple
• Baldwin - red skin streaked with yellow, a mildly sweet-tart flavor and fairly crisp texture
• Braeburn - mottled red and yellow skin and crisp, sweet-tart flesh
• Cortland - smooth, shiny red skin and juicy, crisp, sweet-tart flesh that resists browning
• Criterion - bright red skin with green highlights and a slightly tart, juicy flesh
• Fuji - green to yellow under-color blushed with red and a fragrantly sweet, crisp and juicy flesh
• Gala - red mottled with yellow, sweet and slightly spicy, crisp and juicy
• Golden Delicious - yellow to yellow-green skin and a sweet, crisp, juicy flesh that resists browning (but fruit grown in the western U.S. Can be bland)
• Granny Smith-freckled green skin and sweetly tart, moderately juicy flesh
• Gravenstein-green skin streaked with red, and a crisp, juicy, sweetly tart flesh
• Jonagold - cross between Golden Delicious and Jonathan, with a mottled red and yellow skin and moderately crispy, very juicy, sweet-tart flesh
• Jonathan - bright red skin, with a spicy fragrance and juicy, sweet-tart flavor (not good for baking whole)
• Lady Apple - skin color ranging from brilliant red to yellow with red blushing, and a sweet-tart flesh
• Macoun - red-wine color and a crisp, juicy, sweetly tart flesh
• McIntosh - bright red skin sometimes tinged with green, and a medium-crisp, tart-sweet flesh that doesn't hold up to lengthy cooking
• Pippin - greenish-yellow to yellow skin and a crisp, juicy, slightly tart flesh
• Northern Spy - red skin streaked with yellow and a sweet-tart flavor
• Pink Lady - pinkish-red skin and crisp, sweetly tart flesh with hints of kiwi and raspberry
• Red Delicious - apple is brilliant red in color, with an elongated shape and five distinctive knobs at its base. It's juicy and sweet but lacks any distinguishing tartness, which makes it okay for eating out of hand but not for cooking. 
• Rhode Island Greening - green to yellow-green skin and a sweet-tart flesh that seems to intensify in flavor when cooked, which is why most of the crop is sold for commercial processing (applesauce, pies, and so forth)
• Stayman Winesap - a cross between the Red Delicious and Winesap with a yellow-striped red skin and juicy, crisp, tart flesh
• Winesap-deep red skin, with a juicy, tart, crisp flesh
• York Imperial-red skin streaked with yellow and a firm flesh that's tartly sweet

Apple breeding programs have created a few newer cultivars that are very good quality and resistant to most of the damaging diseases. These include
• Scab
• Rust
• Fire blight
 


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What is in it

Apple is a good source of fiber and vitamin C. 

Apple also contain many phytonutrients that act as antioxidants in your body and flavonoids in the skins and pulp.


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What it is good for

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” – this old 19th century proverb is not far from the truth.
Apple:
• Reduces heat – particularly summer heat conditions of the lungs
• Produces fluid in you body in general
• Moistens dry lungs
• Protects the lungs from cigarette smoking
• Protects against asthma
• Reduce the risk of cancers of the colon, prostate and lungs
• Reduces cholesterol – an effect of the pectin
• Stimulates appetite
• Helps protect your heart
• Reduces indigestion – malic and tartaric acids help inhibit growth of ferments and bad bacteria in your digestive tract
• Contains Pectin, which removes radiation residue and heavy metals such as lead and mercury.
• Improves low blood-sugar conditions and associated depression
• Helps prevent dementia

A poultice of apple used over your eyes for 20 min can help relieve swelling and irritations such as pinkeye and sunburn.

Apple and their juices are cleansing and benefit the liver and gallbladder. They can actually soften gallstones.
 


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When you get it

Apples can be found all year around but are best in the Autumn when freshly harvested. 

Winter apples picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing have been a staple food in Asia and Europe for millennia. 
 


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Which to select

Always choose organic apples. 

Apple trees are prone to fungal and bacterial diseases and insect pests. These issues lead to intensive chemical spraying programs to maintain high quality and high yields. 

There is a trend in many apple orchards to turn to organic farming methods to combat the extreme chemical usage that is usually damaging to the apple trees in the long run. Organic apple farming methods encourage and discourage particular growing cycles and pests, often using natural predators to control insect pest numbers.

Choose firm fruit with a rich color, which are free from bruising or gouges. Some organic fruit may have “scalds” marks of the skin. This is perfectly acceptable and does not reduce the quality of the fruit or the flavor. Many of the perfect skinned fruit you see in markets is chemically sprayed and best avoided. Organic apple tend to have the same or even a better taste than conventional apples but usually with a reduced cosmetic appearance.

Choose the fruit that is best for your purpose. Delicious are there with the sweetest of apples. Braeburn and Fuji apples are slightly tart while Pippin and Granny Smith apples are amongst the most tart and often considered the best for cooking.

The storage of apple for even several months does not seem to reduce the phytonutrients content of the fruit. Although choose to eat whole apple rather than juice as the whole apple is a good source of fiber which is reduces with juicing as is the level of phytonutrients in the fruit and thus antioxidants.

When selecting apple juice, choose cloudy rather than clear juice.

Why Organic?
Choose organically grown fruit whenever possible. To eat organic means to live cleanly, free of pesticides and toxins. It is a conscious choice. One you should make in order to survive right along with the planet that sustains us all. Organically grown foods do not over-run the landfills with toxic waste from their farming or subject your body to unhealthy toxins. For your health and for the planet, choose to eat organic foods. To understand more about why organic is better please read our “Why Organic?” special feature
 


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Where to store

Store apples in the fruit crisper of your refrigerator where they should keep well for at least 2 weeks.  Some varieties like Granny smith and Fuji will keep even longer.

Cold stores apples can keep for 3 to 6 months if kept just above freezing.


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How to use

Wash Apples well in fresh water to remove any foreign matter on the skin.

Sweet desert apples like Red and Golden Delicious and Fuji apples are most often eaten fresh while tart apples, which retain their texture during cooking, are often preferred for cooking. 

Sliced apple turns brown when in contact with oxygen. Soak or spray cut fruit with acidulated water (water with acid like lemon or vinegar added). Even when re-exposed to oxygen the acid will retard the browning for up to a couple of hours. The perfect solution for fruit salad.

Apples are also used to:
• Make into preserves 
• Made into apple sauce
• Stewed and added to cereal for breakfast
• Stewed and then baked into an apple pie
• Bakes with red wine, cloves, and cinnamon then served hot as a desert
• Make juice as a healthy refreshing drink
• Ferment to make apple cider
• Make apple cider vinegar
• Dry and eat dried or later re-constituted (soaked in liquid)


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How much you need

An Apple a day keeps the doctor away – this traditional adage is not far from the truth. 

Eating an apple 2-3 times a week, 

To reach your health goals and become healthy the most important step is to eat a well balanced diet of different food from across all the food groups. Vary what you eat from each food group as often as possible.
 
Grains (Carbohydrates):  6 – 8 
Meat and beans Protein:  1 – 2 
Fats: 1
Dairy:     2 - 3
Fruit: 2
Vegetables: 5
Water: 6
 


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Things to watch out for

Pesticide use on many commercial apples is very high. This can be damaging to your liver and nerves. 

Avoid apples that have wax coating particularly if they are non-organic coatings from petroleum.


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References

The Journal of Nutrition – The American Society for Nutrition, http://jn.nutrition.org, retrieved 05/2009.

One a day superfood,, Apple, http://oneadaysuperfood.com.au/, retrieved 01/2009.

Wikipedia, Apple, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple, retrieved 01/2009.

Solomon H. Katz (Editor), William Woys Weaver,  Encyclopedia of Food and Culture: Scribner Library of Daily Life, Edition 1, New York., NY Thomson-Gale, 2003.

Sharon Tyler Herbst, Food Lover's Companion - The New Food Lover's Companion, 3rd edition, Barron's Educational Series, 1995.

Bratman, Steven, and David Kroll. Natural Health Bible. Rocklin, CA: Prima Publishing, 1999.

Paul Pitchford. Healing with whole food, North Atlantic Books, 2002.

Goldman L, Ausiello D. Cecil Textbook of Medicine. 22nd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: WB Saunders, 2004.

Norton Greenberger M.D. and Roanne Weisman, 4 Weeks to Healthy Digestion, Harvard School of Public Health. (2008)
 


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