Selasa, 15 Maret 2011

Apple Facts

Most everyone has eaten an apple either raw or prepared in a favorite recipe like pie, crisp, applesauce or Waldorf salad. There are literally hundreds of apple varieties from tart to sweet and they range in size from a bit bigger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. Apples have been around for centuries and are enjoyed all over the world, but there are several fun facts that many people do not know about the tasty fruit.

The History of Apples 

According to archeological evidence apples have been around since at least 6500 B.C. They originated in the region between the Black and Caspian Seas. In the 1600s European settlers brought apple seeds to New York, whose nickname is the Big Apple. Apples are the official state fruit of New York, Rhode Island, Washington and West Virginia, and the apple blossom is the official state flower of Arkansas and Michigan. The five most popular types of apples in America today are the Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith and Fuji.

Apple Seeds 

Apples have five carpels, or seed pockets, each containing varying amount of seeds depending on the variety of apple and the health of the tree. Seeds are a cross of the type of tree the apple grew on and the variety that cross-pollinated it, so planting a seed from a specific apple does not guarantee the same kind of apple tree will grow in return. John Chapman, also known as Johnny Appleseed, did not go around randomly planting trees as legend has it, but instead he planted nurseries in large parts of Ohio, Illinois and Indiana.

Weights and Measures 

It takes the energy of about 50 leaves to make one apple. A bushel of apples contains around 100-150 pieces of fruit depending on their size and weighs about 42-50 pounds. That is enough to make 15 standard pies, to can 16-20 quarts, or to produce 30-36 pints of frozen fruit. Apples kept in a cool, dry location like the refrigerator take six to ten times longer to ripen, which means the fruit will last longer than if it is left at room temperature. Apples can float because approximately 25% of the fruit's volume is air, making bobbing for apples possible.

Health Benefits 

There are many reasons why an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples contain pectin which fights bad cholesterol, reduces high blood pressure and gallstones, and decreases the chance of colon cancer. Phytochemicals are also found in apples and they help to slow aging and combat cancer, stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, urinary tract infections and cataracts. Another prominent component of the apple is quercetin, which helps prevent heart attacks, cataracts and macular degeneration. It also controls asthma, Crohn's disease, chronic gout and gastroesophageal reflux disorder, or GERD.

Apples are wonderful fresh from the tree or in a favorite family recipe. There is a wide assortment of apples available year-round to suit every person's tastes and needs. The combination of health benefits along with their versatility and delicious flavor make apples the perfect daily treat.

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