Back to the Beginning
The word “apple” is thought to have first appeared in Abela, a province in Italy.
History tells us that apples came to Britain after the Roman conquest. Julius Caeser himself may have been the one to bring them! The first apple orchards were planted by Roman officers, in their gardens, guarded by high walls. Over time, orchards appeared in surrounding native villages.
The Apple Comes to America!
The only apples native to North America are the crab apples. The introduction and proliferation of other species came as seeds were bought and sold along the trade routes. William Blackstone, minister to the early settlers that came over from England, was the one to introduce the apple. Every farm in Plymouth, Massachusetts planted apple orchards. So vital they were to the colonies’ livelihoods and food supply, that Massachusetts passed its first law in 1645, creating stiff penalties for anyone caught robbing an orchard.
John Chapman, from Leominster, Massachusetts, an itinerant preacher and farmer, would become known as Johnny Appleseed. He was regarded as both eccentric and charismatic. Often barefoot, sporting a mush pan hat, and wearing ragged trousers, Johnny carried a burlap bag full of apple seeds everywhere he preached.
He is credited for populating early America with many of its apple orchards.
By the time of his death in 1845, he had planted orchards as far west as Indiana.
Today, in the United States, we have over 75 varieties of apples and 7,500 known cultivars worldwide.
Washington State provides over one quarter of the apples grown today. Americans eat an average of just eighteen pounds of apples a year, while the Belgians and Italians put away 3 times that amount and the
French consume about five times as much.
Benefits of Eating Apples
Aside from being a wonderful snack, apples carry amazing health benefits!
Apples have about an eighty percent water content. This helps satisfy thirst on 2 levels – not just the regular kind of thirst you have when you reach for a beverage. Your cells get “thirsty” and they know the difference between proper hydration, even when we don’t. Snacking on fresh apples, therefore, is a great way to keep hydrated!
Promote Intestinal Health
The tartaric and malic acids contained in an apple help keep the intestinal tract healthy in 3 ways:
They help remove impurities in the liver
Stop the growth of bad bacteria in the digestive tract and reactivate the growth of good bacteria in the intestines.
The fiber an apple acts like a broom and “sweeps” the toxins and effects of some toxins from the body.
The juicy flesh of a fresh apple cleans the teeth and exercises the gums when eaten raw.
Promote a Healthy pH Balance
Apples are an alkaline food, making them highly digestible. Research has shown the importance of the pH balance in the body. A hostile or acidic environment is a recipe chronic illness and inflammation. Alkaline foods are essential to overall health.
Apples are about 3.30-4.0 in alkalinity.
Blocks Excess Fat Absorption
Apple pectin builds a natural barrier around our cells that controls the accumulation of fat that can be absorbed. While apples don’t contain much iron, the pectin an apple contains assists the body in digesting iron rich foods. The pectin in green apples, especially, has been shown to soften gallstones, cleanse the liver and the gallbladder. European research has shown that apple pectin binds itself to any radioactive substances or residue in the body and flushes those residues out. Pectin also aids the body in detoxifying itself of lead, mercury and other toxic heavy metals.
Perhaps this is why people who eat apples reduce the risk and find relief from many skin diseases, arthritic pain and various lung and asthma conditions.
Apples are most nutritious when raw, but they add a delicate sweetness to baked goods. They may be pressed and made into a tasty cider or fresh juice. Incidentally, back in colonial times, a guest of a home would be offered apple cider – not coffee or tea, as is customary today.
When using an apple in a juicer, blender or a smoothie, it’s recommended that the seeds be removed as they contain levels of cyanide. The peels and flesh though are perfectly safe to blend into a nutritious smoothie.
The peels, in fact, contain ursolic acid, which helps promote muscular and skeletal health.
There have been some people who have found relief from their allergies by consuming raw honey regularly. If you are someone who would give anything to enjoy an apple without fearing an allergic reaction, try adding raw honey into your diet. You can learn more about the benefits of raw honey and decide for yourself. I hope
I’ve inspired you to start eating more apples! Why not change out some of those processed snacks for a fresh, crispy, juicy apple? Your body will thank you!