Apple’s Ancient Past
The apple is most famously found in the Biblical story of Adam and Eve, but it’s archaeological past dates back to 2000 BCE and the Stone Age Middle East. Apples are believed to have originated in the Kazakhstan region where wild apple forests still exist today. The apple was introduced into the Americas by early Pilgrims. In generations past every homestead had an apple tree because apples properly stored could last thru the winter.
Johnny Appleseed was actually a pioneer apple farmer in the 1800’s whose real name was John Chapman. Born in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774, his passion was preventing hunger by planting apple trees across the country. During his travels he became friendly with Indian tribes and learned to survive on natural vegetarian foods rather than killing animals. He was never sick until the day he died of pneumonia at the age of seventy-one.
Apples have few calories (about 80) and no saturated fats or cholesterol.
They are rich in soluble fiber (pectin) to protect the colon from cancer causing toxins. Apples also provide many of the essential nutrients needed for growth and nutritional well-being. Today there are about 7000 different varieties of apples.
They’re loaded with an extraordinary array of polyphenols (phytonutrients). Besides their amazing nutrient value, polyphenols protect the apple from UVB radiation. It’s interesting though, that polyphenols are also the cause of the apple turning brown when cut open or bruised. Apples which have turned brown emit an ethylene gas which can cause browning to any surrounding apples. So take care to remove bruised ones from your bowl of apples. Most of the polyphenols found in apples act as antioxidants. They help the entire cardiovascular system by reducing the oxidation of fat in cells of blood vessels which helps prevent atherosclerosis (clogging of arteries). Research shows that the pectin and polyphenols in the apple reduce both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol when the apple is a regular part of your diet - there is much to be said about the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away!”
Other benefits of the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients in the apple include reducing the risk of breast and lung cancer. These nutrients have also been found to reduce the symptoms of asthma. Because the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory aspects of the apple are so amazing, more research is in the works to help scientists determine exactly why the apple plays such a significant role in cancer and asthma. Research update: the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) lists apples as a proven anti-cancer food with ongoing research into their phytonutrients - most of which are found in the peel.
More good news about polyphenols: a newer area of research shows that apple’s polyphenols have the potential to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates and reduce sugar in the blood stream.
About 8 milligrams of Vitamin C are also found in the apple. Although this is not a huge amount, it is quite effective because vitamin C is dependent on flavonoids (part of the polyphenol family) and the apple has an abundance of them. Vitamin C, which fights infections, also helps to remove free radicals from the body.
Other Essential nutrients in the apple include B-Complex vitamins, potassium, and many trace minerals. B-Complex vitamins are necessary for the body to absorb enzymes. Potassium lowers blood pressure and heart rate and balances negative effects of sodium.
About The Seeds & Skin
There are toxic compounds found in apple seeds as well as cherry, apricot, and peach pits. However, you would have to eat a huge quantity to feel any ill effects. The apple skin, however, is filled with many nutrients and disease fighting compounds, and should definitely be juiced.
Apple Juice Recipes (Delicious)
Big Green Apple Juice
- 4 Apples - skin. core, and all!
- handful fresh Parsley
- 1 spear Broccoli
- 1/8 teaspoon Spirulina
Apple Ginger Juice (from Dark Rye, the online magazine of Whole Foods Market)
- 3 Granny Smith Apples - skin, core, and all!
- 1 Cucumber - with the skin
- 1 thumb fresh Ginger
- 2 leaves Kale
- 1 wedge fresh Lime (with the rind!)