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All About Them Apples

Updated on February 6, 2014
grand old lady profile image

Mona writes a column for Enrich Magazine which is distributed in five countries. She is interested in learning as she writes.

Magazine where article was published
Magazine where article was published | Source

NOTE: This article originally came out in the Jan-Feb issue of Cook Magazine. At the time, I used the byline Mona Gonzalez. When I later realized that there are many people online with the same name, I decided to add my middle name, “Sabalones” to set myself apart. The article below is slightly edited from the original which came out in the magazine.

How many sayings do you know about apples? How about, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” or “An apple for teacher.” And then, there is also the seminal, “How do you like them apples?”

There must be many, many more, just as there are about 7,500 varieties of apples. But just as only a few of these are commercial, only a few “apple” sayings come to mind.

How often do you eat apples?

See results
First page of article
First page of article | Source

Apple history

The big, luscious apples that you see in the supermarket are actually cultivated, originating from tiny sour crab apples. In the Philippines we call the tiny versions “epol”, but actually, they are the real thing.

Homer mentioned apples in his book, “The Odyssey”. Only, he used the word “melon”, which applies to any round fruit. It is possible the “apple” in the Bible’s Song of Solomon was actually quince, a sour but fragrant round fruit.

In America, apples became plentiful thanks to the eccentric Johnny Appleseed, or Jon Chapman from Leominster, Massachusetts in 1775. He collected apple seeds from mills and journeyed up and down the country planting them.

Today many dishes made with apples date back to medieval times, such as apple sauce, fritters, rissoles and drinks. Would an apple a day keep the doctor away? Consider the following:

Article shows table of contents, with this piece on page 77
Article shows table of contents, with this piece on page 77 | Source

Health benefits of apples

  1. Apples help reduce cholesterol, as they contain phytochemicals that act as antioxidants against LDL, the “band” cholesterol that blocks the arteries. Antioxidants also reduce or prevent cell or tissue damage, and inhibit the reproduction of colon cancer cells by 43 percent.
  2. They help prevent lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. The National Cancer Institute reported that the flavonoids in apples may reduce the risk of lung cancer by as much as 50 percent. Flavonoids also prevent stroke, and people with a diet rich in flavonoids have a lower incidence of heart disease.
  3. They promote weight loss. The dietary fiber in apples helps digestion and promotes weight loss. A medium apple contains more fiber than most cereals. Also, they have almost zero fat and cholesterol.
  4. They keep your lungs healthy. A British study of Welsh men showed that those who ate at least five apples a week had better lung function, and lower risk of respiratory disease. A study of the University of Groningen showed that apples could cut smokers’ risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease in half.
  5. They help improve your dental health. The tannins in apples have anti-adhesion properties that prevent gum disease by preventing dental plaque. Tannins also help prevent urinary tract infections.
  6. They help estrogen retention. Apples contain boron, a mineral which studies have shown help women maintain estrogen during menopause. This helps reduce hormone-induced symptoms and promotes bone health.
  7. They help prevent prostate cancer. A 2001 Mayo Clinic study showed that the flavonoid quercitin in apples helps prevent the growth of prostate cancer cells.

My byline as Executive Editor
My byline as Executive Editor | Source
Different types of apples
Different types of apples | Source

12 options out of 7,500

With 7,500 varieties of apples in the world, it may take months choosing which ones to buy. So, we are recommending 12.

  1. Red Delicious. These are America’s favorite. They have deep ruby skin and a heart shape. Great for snacks.
  2. Fuji. This apple varies in hue from green-yellow (with red highlights) to sheer red. It is spicy and sweet, great for salads.
  3. Granny Smith. Bright green with a pink blush. Tart, tangy and crisp to the bite.
  4. Golden Delicious. Great, all-purpose apple, whether it is cooked or baked. Either way, it maintains its shape and rich, mellow flavor. It’s so tender, it need not be peeled.
  5. Gala. This makes a perfect snack. It is heart shaped with orange-yellow hues and red stripes. It’s also good for salads.
  6. Rome Beauty. This is the perfect apple to choose if you plan to cook it. The reason is because it has a very special quality – whether it is sautéed or baked, the flavor becomes richer.
  7. Braeburn. This is a crisp apple with a wonderful aroma. It is sometimes greenish gold in color, with bits of red. At other times, it is solid red. The Braeburn is perfect for snacks and salads.
  8. Winesap. This apple is so called because, like wine, it has a tartness and spicy flavor. It is violet red in hue and perfect for cider.
  9. Criterion. The name may sound like an evil person in a superhero film. Actually, this bold yellow apple is a “bit shy” with its red blush. When you cut this apple, the flesh doesn’t brown. Powerful.
  10. Pink Lady. This lady has a pink blush on her yellow skin. The taste is sweet-tart, and the flesh is firm and crisp.
  11. Cameo. This apple has a red stripe over a creamy hued background. It is firm and tastes sweet.
  12. Jonogold. This tangy, sweet apple has a green-yellow base with blush stripes.

How to Make Easy Apple Pie Cupcakes -- Cupcake Recipe

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    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 2 years ago from Philippines

      Hello Olog, actually in the Philippines we call them "epol". It's kind of a joke because it's smaller than the American apple.

    • ologsinquito profile image

      ologsinquito 2 years ago from USA

      This was very interesting. I didn't know you had apples in the Philippines, but I guess anything can grow high in the mountains, if it's cooler. I really want to see your country some day.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Anita Saran, I'm so glad that apples help you with your anemia and dizzy spells. How wonderful that you make apple cider, as well. Stay strong and healthy:). Thank you for the visit.

    • Anita Saran profile image

      Anita Saran 3 years ago from Bangalore, India

      Wonderful hub grand old lady! I eat an apple everyday - to combat anemia and dizzy spells and they really work. And now, thanks to you, I know they're good for so many other ills. My favourite is the Fuji. It's juicy and you don't have to peel them since the skin is thin and easily chewed. I also make apple cider vinegar.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Eddy:). The share and vote up are very much appreciated.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 3 years ago from Wales

      Well informed ;interesting and useful.

      Voting up and sharing.

      Eddy.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Come to think of it, you're right, Writer Fox. I never thought of apples as God's Candy, but he sure did give us a great natural confectionery when you look at it that way:).

    • Writer Fox profile image

      Writer Fox 3 years ago from the wadi near the little river

      What a great discussion about apples! They really are God's candy. Enjoyed!

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      DDE Ditto. Unlike many other fruit, all you have to do with an apple is wash it and bite. No mess, no fuss, and sooooo delicious.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 3 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Apples are among my favorite fruit and has many uses.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Suzanne Day. Imagine if we ate one type of apple a day. We would run the whole gamut of 7,500 apples in 20.5 years.

    • Suzanne Day profile image

      Suzanne Day 3 years ago from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

      Apples are great - though I didn't know there were 7500 of them! I don't eat apples as much as I should. Voted useful.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Ms. Dora. I have to confess, I'm a bad cook, that's why I relied on YouTube for a recipe. I usually did the editorial work for Cook Magazine but the editor in chief was the food expert. I am a great eating expert, though.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Thank you Flourish Anyway. The idea of apple pie with cream cheese icing tickles my taste juices. I will check your hub in case you have posted the recipe. I love apples and I love cream cheese. That is an unbeatable combination.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 3 years ago from The Caribbean

      Thank you for sharing these details on history and benefits of this popular fruit. The recipe is a big plus.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      I love apple pies using a mixture of several types of apples. I also have an incredible recipe for an apple cake with cream cheese icing that's out of this world. Your hub has reminded me that I haven't made it in awhile.

    • grand old lady profile image
      Author

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Wow, that must be an amazing recipe using up to three different kinds of apples. I'm gonna look for your hubs on apple pie.

    • sallieannluvslife profile image

      sallieannluvslife 3 years ago from Eastern Shore

      I love, love, love apples! My favorite thing to do is make apple pies using 2 or 3 different kinds of apples. My family goes crazy for them. I actually have a hub about apple pie!