An apple is a sweet, edible fruit produced by an apple tree (Malus pumila). Apple trees are cultivated worldwide, and are the most widely grown species in the genus Malus. The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have religious and mythological significance in many cultures, including Norse, Greek and European Christian traditions.
Apple trees are large if grown from seed. Generally apple cultivars are propagated by grafting onto rootstocks, which control the size of the resulting tree. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. Different cultivars are bred for various tastes and uses, including cooking, eating raw and cider production. Trees and fruit are prone to a number of fungal, bacterial and pest problems, which can be controlled by a number of organic and non-organic means. In 2010, the fruit’s genome was sequenced as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.
Worldwide production of apples in 2014 was 84.6 million tonnes, with China accounting for 48% of the total.
The center of diversity of the genus Malus is in eastern present-day Turkey. The apple tree was perhaps the earliest tree to be cultivated, and its fruits have been improved through selection over thousands of years. Alexander the Great is credited with finding dwarfed apples in Kazakhstan in 328 BCE. Winter apples, picked in late autumn and stored just above freezing, have been an important food in Asia and Europe for millennia.
Of the many Old World plants that the Spanish introduced to Chiloé Archipelago in the 16th century, apple trees became particularly well adapted. Apples were introduced to North America by colonists in the 17th century, and the first apple orchard on the North American continent was planted in Boston by Reverend William Blaxton in 1625. The only apples native to North America are crab apples, which were once called “common apples”. Apple cultivars brought as seed from Europe were spread along Native American trade routes, as well as being cultivated on colonial farms. An 1845 United States apples nursery catalogue sold 350 of the “best” cultivars, showing the proliferation of new North American cultivars by the early 19th century. In the 20th century, irrigation projects in Eastern Washington began and allowed the development of the multibillion-dollar fruit industry, of which the apple is the leading product.
Until the 20th century, farmers stored apples in frostproof cellars during the winter for their own use or for sale. Improved transportation of fresh apples by train and road replaced the necessity for storage. Controlled atmosphere facilities are used to keep apples fresh year-round. Controlled atmosphere facilities use high humidity, low oxygen, and controlled carbon dioxide levels to maintain fruit freshness. They were first used in the United States in the 1960s.
15 Amazing Benefits
Promotes Oral Health
This mighty fruit is known to maintain oral health. Thanks to malic acid that keeps your teeth white and shiny. It is widely used by companies to prepare commercial whitening toothpaste. It is worth mentioning that chewing apple stimulates saliva production that keeps risks of tooth decay at bay.
It Maintains Cardiovascular Health
Apples are loaded with pectin, which is a soluble fiber that is known to reduce cholesterol in the blood vessel walls. This process also lowers the risk of atherosclerosis. Moreover, the soluble fiber tie-up with the fats presents in the intestine so that cholesterol won’t rise in your body. Many studies have proved that people who consume apples regularly are less prone to stroke as compared to those who don’t. This sweet and sour fruit also contains lots of potassium that is known to control high blood pressure preventing you from the risk of heart attack.
A Healthy Snack for Diabetics
Apples are considered as one of the healthiest snacks you should indulge in. It is safe for people suffering with Type-2 diabetes, and they can eat it every day without any worry in the world. According to a recent study, munching an apple for breakfast reduces the chance of Type-2 diabetes by 29%. This mouthwatering fruit can also stop certain enzymes from turning into starch instead they transform into a simple sugar that your body requires to produce energy. Moreover, apples are a great way to control insulin as the components found in them are known to release sugar into the bloodstream steadily. The decent quantity of soluble fibers in the fruit also controls blood sugar levels in diabetic patients.
It Improves Respiratory Health
You can improve your lung health by consuming apples in any form. Thanks to the components found in the fruit that are known to prevent you from several respiratory problems including, bronchitis, emphysema, and asthma.
It Fights Cancerous Cells
Being enriched with anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, anti-proliferative qualities and flavonoids, apples have the potential to lower the chance of pancreatic cancer. According to experts regular consumption of apples can also prevent your body from mammary tumors. The oligosaccharides found in apple are said to kill colon cancer cells.
Apple Prevents Osteoporosis
This amazing fruit has plenty of phloridzin (a flavonoid), which shields women against osteoporosis. Compound boron found in the apples is also worked to strengthen bones preventing women from further bone problems.
It keeps Your Gut Healthy
Experts emphasized on consuming at least one apple daily because being rich in dietary fiber, it is extremely beneficial for intestinal disorders including diverticulitis, stomach cancer, and hemorrhoids. Many studies have proved it as a simple yet effective way to treat diarrhea and constipation. Thanks to the high levels of dietary fiber as they relieve constipation and in case of diarrhea, remove excess water naturally. Moreover, it also performs as a cleanser and detoxifier that flushes out toxic metals including mercury and lead from your body. It is worth mentioning that eating apple regularly also reduces Bacteroides and Clostridiales found in your large intestine.
It Maintains Neurological Health
Being enriched with an antioxidant Quercetin, apples can help lower the risk of cellular death, which is usually the result of the oxidization of neurons. Consuming apples is also said to reduce the chance of dementia. You will be surprised to learn that being packed with the high levels of antioxidants and fiber, this mighty fruit can protect you from Parkinson’s disease as well. According to experts, incorporating apples in your daily in the form of juice will increase the production of acetylcholine (a neurotransmitter), which results in enhanced memory power.
Boost Your Energy Levels
Apples are a great source to get super energized. This is why; experts suggest munching an apple before your workout session. Quercetin and antioxidants ensure your body gets a proper supply of oxygen through enhanced blood circulation. This is ideal for people who indulge in workout sessions and exercise regimes.
It Enhances Skin Conditions
You can get rid of old dead dermal cells by eating an apple every day. It is also known to rejuvenate skin cells, boosting collagen production, keeping your skin nice and hydrated. Drinking a glass of fresh apple juice keeps your skin free from all sorts of inflammations, irritations and similar skin problems.
It Prevents Premature Aging
Being enriched with vitamins, apple boosts collagen production preventing premature aging and wrinkles. Thanks to vitamin A found in the fruit, which is responsible to keep skin wrinkles and sagging at bay.
It Controls Body Weight
Apples contain no fat thus, they are ideal for overweight people. Being enriched with dietary fiber, this tasty fruit keeps you full for hours impeding you from overeating.
Apples Prevent Hemorrhoids
Hemorrhoids happen when your anal canal veins swell. This condition can be extremely painful causing pressure in your pelvic and rectal region. Consuming fiber is the simplest way to deal with swollen anal veins, and being loaded with dietary fiber, apples are the perfect solution.
It Works as a Detoxifier
Maintaining liver health is essential as it is responsible to remove toxins from your body. You can opt for detox diets, but they aren’t a healthy option. Therefore, in this case, consuming apple juice can become a healthy alternative.
It Prevents Cataracts
Many studies have concluded that consuming a diet enriched with antioxidants can prevent cataracts. Consuming apples can help you here as it is said to reduce the development of cataracts.