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Healthy Eating: Apples
The History of Apples
The first documented sale of an apple was in 1500 B.C. A Mesopotamian ledger (in tablet form, naturally) was found that shows it was exchanged for three sheep. King Ramses of Egypt later ruled that apples would be grown in the delta region of the Nile River in 1200 B.C. People began experimenting with grafting, or splicing, apples in 323 B.C. according to documentation discovered. By the year 70 A.D., the Roman Empire had documented thirty-seven different varieties of apples. The oldest variety of apple is the Lady, dating back to the First Century A.D. Apples came to America with the early colonists in the Seventeenth Century. As you can see, apples have been with us for a long time.
Apples have been a reappearing theme throughout the history of many cultures. Greek goddess of love, Aphrodite, was often depicted holding an apple. The Greeks viewed the apple as a symbol of desire and temptation.
According to legend, Eris, the Greek goddess of discord, began the Trojan War by throwing a golden apple into a wedding ceremony. Legend says that the words "To the fairest" were written on the apple. Naturally, everyone began arguing about to whom the apple belonged. When Paris selected Aphrodite as the fairest, the other goddesses were furious and caused much turmoil with Paris and his family. These mythological events are said to have led to the Trojan War.
Apples are so popular in present day culture that we even have the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away." A more accurate version might end with "keeps the dentist away." When you eat a fresh apple, the crunching and chewing cleans the teeth and stimulates saliva that helps to wash away food particles from your mouth.
In the medical field, mice who were given apple juice got through mazes faster. They seemed to remember them, or learn the correct route through the practice. This could be significant for those who suffer Alzheimer's Disease. Researchers hope to someday prove that apples will help Alzheimer's patients.
What's Your Favorite Apple Variety?
What's so good about an apple?
The antioxidants in apples protect against Parkinson's Disease. When you eat a fresh apple, the soluble fiber helps to regulate blood sugar and mood swings that accompany blood sugar spikes. Apple fiber keeps bowel movements regular and in that sense, helps avoid hemorrhoids. When you have regular bowel movements, your body can properly eliminate wastes as it should. That means that apples are good for your overall health!
Lots of ways to enjoy apples
Apples are easily worked into your diet. Eat them raw, dried, freeze dried, juiced, or in sauce form. Since they require no refrigeration, you can take them with you just about everywhere. Wash your apples and dry them, place them in a bag, and hit the road! If you choose to slice your apples, coat them with a few drops of lemon juice to prevent browning. Also, be sure to eat the peel. You lose a lot of the apple's nutrients when you pare away the skin!
If you opt for apple juice, you need to be wary of the different versions of apple juices on the market. Some are very high in added sugars or high fructose corn syrup. Avoid the extra sugars because apples are sweet enough naturally!