Apple ‘Seb” is an Indian fruit that is often addressed as a “miracle food” and a “nutritional powerhouse.” In fact, Ayurveda and other traditional medicine have been promoting eating apples due to its health benefits, for thousands of years.
Though finding mention in the writing of Amir Khusro dated 1300’s, present day Indian apple finds its lineage to Samuel Evan Stokes, an American, who settled in the hills of present day Himachal Pradesh and started growing them in 1900’s, although there are also reports that claim the present day apples were brought in India by the British in 1865.
Rich in nutrients and minerals, apple fruit is low in calories and also have no cholesterol or fat. Apple is considered to be one of the healthiest fruits a person can eat. The skin of the apple too contains certain nutrients hence, it is beneficial to consume the skin too.
Nutritional facts of Apples
Apple is a rich source of fiber, polyphenols, and vitamin C. They are low in calories and have no fat or cholesterol.
A medium-sized apple, weighing approximately 182 gm contains 94.6 calories, 25.1 gm of carbohydrates, 4.4 gm of fiber, 10.9 mg of calcium, 20 mg of phosphorus, 9.1 mg of magnesium, 195 mg of potassium, 8.37 mg of vitamin C, 5.46 mcg of folate, 49.1 mcg of beta-carotene, 52.8 mcg of lutein and zeaxanthin, and 4 mcg of vitamin K.
Potential health benefits of Apple
1/5. Regulates blood sugar
1. Fructose and antioxidant polyphenols present in apples enhance the metabolic balance and slow the rate of absorption of sugar thus, making apple effective in diabetics.
2. A class of antioxidants, Anthocyanin present in apples reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
3. Apple is rich in soluble fibre which blunts the blood sugar swings.
4. Flavonoids, antioxidants present in apples protect the cells from damage in the pancreas thus, help to regulate blood sugar.
2/5. Protects bone density
1. Phloridzin, a flavonoid present in apples protects the post-menopausal women from osteoporosis and it may also increase bone density. It fights inflammation and free radical production which causes bone degeneration.
2. Another ingredient of apple, Boron also strengthens the bones.
3. The anti-inflammatory compounds and antioxidants present in apple help in promoting bone health.
3/5. Reduces cholesterol
1. Pectin, a soluble fibre present in apples binds with the fats in the intestine, thus, reducing cholesterol levels.
2. Pectin restricts the building up of cholesterol in the lining of the walls of the blood vessel, thus decreasing the risk of heart diseases and atherosclerosis.
4/5. Prevents cancers
1. The fiber and phytochemicals present in apples possess the antioxidant properties which restrict the oxidative stress that causes cell damage leading to the development of certain cancers thus, preventing cancers.
2. The natural fibre present in the apple ferments in the colon, producing chemicals that help fight the cancer cell formation in the colon thus, preventing cancer.
3. Presence of several compounds, triterpenoids in the apple peel possesses cancer-fighting properties.
4. Consumption of apple lowers the risk of certain types of cancers such as breast, lung, pancreatic, and colorectal. It prevents the growth of new cancer cells and the spread of existing cancer cells.
5/5. Other possible Benefits…
Apples produce numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as lowers the risk of stroke, promotes heart health, aids weight loss, enables smoother digestion, relieves constipation and diarrhoea, boosts brainpower, promotes stronger gums, avoids Alzheimer’s, protects against Parkinson’s, prevents gallstones, neutralises irritable bowel syndrome, prevents haemorrhoids, detoxifies the liver, boosts the immune system, prevent cataracts, and helps fight asthma.
‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you will keep the doctor from earning his bread’ idiom was first coined around 1860. The same idiom is nowadays known as… ‘An apple a day, keeps the Doctor away.’
How to incorporate Apple in the cooking?
Apples can be consumed raw or can be cooked. They can be utilized in a range of dishes. They can be added to our diet in a variety of ways, some of them are as follows…
- Used as juice.
- As applesauce.
- Chopped in salads.
- Added to smoothies.
- Used as baked apples.
- Used to prepare chutney.
- Added in curries and chutneys.
- Baked whole, in cakes, pies, and pastries.
- Used in the preparation of apple popcorn balls, apple granite, scary apple mouths, apple butter, apple fritters, caramel apples, apple cake, bacon-apple dates, apple-onion bruschetta, Sausage-Apple Skewers, Apple Sauerkraut, Apple-Sausage Sandwich, Big Apple Cocktail, Potato-Apple Pancakes, Apple-Horseradish Sauce, Apple-Mustard Chicken, Apple Stuffing, Apple Pancake, Apple-Cheddar Fondue, Apple Galette, Apple-Sausage Patties, etc.
How to prepare Apple and Cranberry Chutney?
Take 1kg peeled and chopped cooking apples, 500 gm peeled and chopped into large chunks eating apple, 450 gm of sliced onion, 50 gm finely chopped fresh root ginger, 500 gm granulated sugar; 1tsp peppercorns, and 250 ml of cider vinegar in a large heavy-based saucepan.
Gently heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer it uncovered, for around 50 minutes. Stir continuously until the onions and the apples are tender, the mixture thickens, and there is no watery juice.
Add 500 gm of cranberries and cook if for another 10 minutes or until it softens.