Almost 7,500 varieties of apples are present around the world with 2,500 of those varieties available in the United States alone. In fact, the fruit is the second most valuable fruit in the country next to oranges.
Archaeological evidence showed that people have enjoyed them since 6,500 B.C. Based on a DNA analysis, the fruit has origins in Kazakhstan mountains.
Apples are undoubtedly famous too, especially in literature and the arts. Author Rebecca Rupp puts it in her The History of the “Forbidden” Fruit article written for the National Geographic, no other fruit appears so frequently in art, literature, and probably, daily conversations.
Many people have the common Christian belief that the apple was a forbidden fruit in the Book of Genesis. The belief has led people to consider the fruit a symbol of knowledge, immortality, sexual seduction, temptation, human sexuality, the fall of man, and sin.
The fruit is blamed to have started the Trojan War after sparking a dispute between Athena, Hera, and Aphrodite on who is the “fairest of them all.”
It poisoned Snow White and almost killed her if not for the kiss of her prince. Writers Robert Frost, Christina Rossetti, Emily Dickinson, and Dylan Thomas have written poems about apples.
Gothic German sculptor Daniel Mauch had Venus hold an apple in one of his works, Venus Holding an Apple. Renaissance painter Lucas Cranach the Elder painted The Virgin and Child Under an Apple Tree. And in Flemish painter Crispin van den Broeck’s Two Young Men, one was holding an apple.
And although not likely to bring immortality as what the Norse mythology told us, an apple is capable of giving us longer lives due to its nutritional benefits.
The fruit may not cure all diseases like the magic apple from Samarkand in The Arabian Nights, but it can keep the doctor away somewhat.
An apple can lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol by 40 percent. It can also reduce the risk of heart disease. According to a study in the Journal of Functional Foods at Ohio State University, eating one a day for four weeks can reduce LDL. This is due to an antioxidant in the fruit that has a profound effect on reducing the risks of heart disease.
An antioxidant found in apples can even help reduce cellular death due to oxidation and inflammation of the neurons. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease recommends apple juice to increase the production of the essential neurotransmitter, acetylcholine, in the brain.
Likewise, they also lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, the Harvard School of Public Health examined the diets of 200,000 people. They found that consuming five or more apples a week reduces the development of type 2 diabetes by 23 percent.
Aside from the doctor, an apple a day can also keep the dentist away. Apples contain three grams of both soluble and insoluble fiber which can stimulate the gums. Additionally, chewing on them produces saliva in the mouth that rinses bacteria and food particles away.
So, snack on this superfood today for better overall health.