- Health Benefits
- Why all apples are not created equal
- All About Pink Lady Apples
- Why we are eating the wrong kind of apples
- What Are Flavonoids?
- 6 Important Flavonoids in Apples
- Why You Shouldn’t Peel Your Apples, or Should You?
- 6 Fantastic Health Benefits of Apples
- Pink apples: are they the best in terms of quality?
Apples can do a lot for you, thanks to plant chemicals called flavonoids. And they have pectin, a fiber that breaks down in your gut. If you take off the apple’s skin before eating it, you won’t get as much of the fiber or flavonoids.
The fiber can slow digestion so you feel fuller after eating. This can keep you from overeating. Eating fiber-rich foods helps control symptoms and lessens the effects of acid reflux. An apple’s fiber can also help with diarrhea and constipation.
Some studies show that plant chemicals and the fiber in an apple peel protect against blood vessel and heart damage. They also can help lower your cholesterol, and they might protect your cells’ DNA from something called oxidative damage, which is one of the things that can lead to cancer.
Research shows the antioxidants in apples can slow the growth of cancer cells. And they can protect the cells in your pancreas, which can lower your chances of type 2 diabetes.
Scientists also give apples credit for helping:
- Your lung strength
- Weight loss
- Your brain (easing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and age-related memory loss)
- Your immune system
- Your gut health
You don’t need to be concerned about the sugar in apples. Although they have carbs that affect your blood sugar, these carbs are different from other sugars that strip away fiber that’s good for you.
Why all apples are not created equal
One study that caught Robinson’s eye was research done on a group of overweight men in which half took the “apple a day” adage literally, adding a Golden Delicious apple to their daily diet to see if it would improve their health. The results were shocking: The apple-eaters actually had higher levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides at the end of the study, making them actually more at risk for heart disease than they had been at the start. The explanation was the kind of apple they used: The Golden Delicious variety has such high sugar content and is so low in phytonutrients, that eating one daily may have actually been detrimental to the health of the study participants.
The bad news is that some apples are less healthy than others. Golden Delicious, Pink Lady, Elf Star, Empire and Ginger Gold apples are all varieties that have high levels of sugar and few antioxidants, according to Robinson. Yes, they’re still better than a candy bar – but not by much.
Now for the good news: Some of the healthiest apples available are right under your own nose (we’ll get to that in a minute), and there are standard guidelines for choosing wisely. Shopping at a farmer’s market will widen your options when it comes to varieties, but it will also guarantee you a recently-harvested apple. “All apples store well – commercial growers especially know how to keep them crisp,” says Robinson, “but the ones that are fresh-picked will always have more antioxidants than ones that have been stored.” Another tip; go organic all the way. “The skin of an apple has 90% of the pesticides, but 50% of the nutrients,” says Robinson, which is why apples are the one fruit you should always buy organic and never bother to peel.
Looking for the best of the bunch? Choose from our list of apple all-stars.
There are a lot of delicious and tasty fruits you could find but apples are probably among the most favorite fruits. However, not everyone knows that apples are available in many varieties and one that is very tasty and delicious is honeycrisp apples. Furthermore, the health benefits of honeycrisp apples are not something you could take for granted as well.
What Is Honeycrisp Apples?
As mentioned above there are a lot of varieties of apples and honeycrips is one variety of apples developed by Minnesota Agriculture Experiment. Compared to the common apple with beautiful and mouthwatering dark red skin, honeycrips apples have distinctive characteristics which are the yellow background of the skin with mottled red color. This variety of apple is very tasty because it is the hybrid of apples from variety of Macoun and Honeygold but you don’t need to worry, honeycrips apples are not GMO but hybrid. They are completely two different things. So, this variety of apple is as natural as any apples you have consumed.
Nutritional Values of Honeycrisp Apples
When talking about the health benefits of apples and then honeycrisp apples are not really different. However, compared to regular apples, the tart flavor of this variety is a strong indication that this apple is super low in calories, so it is excellent weight loss foods especially for breakfast. To get more information about the health benefits of honeycrisp apples, the list below will tell you in details.
- Super Low in Calories
Do you know that high quality life is always associated with low calories diet? It is because based on some research studies, those who are currently doing low calories diet are likely to have longer live with better physical condition than those who don’t. Foods that are low in calories are able to lower the rates of cancer, cardiovascular diseases and aged related degeneration conditions.
- Excellent Energy Booster
There is a good reason why apple is good for breakfast because it is an excellent energy booster. Eating apple is not going to boost your energy like when you are drinking coffee but since apple contains carbohydrate and enough calories to give you the stamina you need in the morning.
- Packed with Soluble Fiber
There are a lot of health benefits of eating apple skin because fiber in apple is found in the skin. That is why for the health benefits of fiber, you should eat apples along with its skin. Though some people prefer to peel it off and they still could get all the essential vitamins and minerals but less fiber content.
- Aids Digestion
As mentioned above, consuming honeycrisp apples along with the skin will boost your daily intake of fiber. The health benefits of fiber are essential for digestion because fiber has prominent function to aid digestion because fiber could bind all the unnecessary content inside the intestine to be washed off. The result is your metabolism will move smoothly.
- Fat and Cholesterol Free Type of Fruit
It is not easy to find foods that lower cholesterol level but there are some fruits that are completely fat and cholesterol free and honeycrisp apples are among those fruits. Not only that, as it is rich of fiber, the soluble fiber will help eliminating the excessive amount of cholesterol.
- Snack Solution during Weight Loss Program
If you are currently in a weight loss program, the hardest thing to control is your appetite. Consuming apples whenever you feel hungry could help you controlling your craving of snacking because the fiber content in apples will make you feel full longer and as fat free, it won’t cause you any weight gain.
- Prevents Obesity
The antioxidant content found in honeycrips apples will help preventing the oxidative stress in body metabolism. The effect is the reduction of fat cell formulation that in excessive amount could lead to obesity. Polyphenols are one of the potent antioxidants found in apples along with vitamin C benefits, vitamin A and beta-carotene.
- Excellent Immunity Booster
Apples are excellent choice of snack during recovery condition because honeycrisp apples are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that could act as excellent immunity booster. They will accelerate the recovery process while preventing your body from further infection.
- Great for Diabetic Patients
There is no easy way to find food for patients who have been diagnosed with certain types of diabetes. However, a lot of studies have stated that consuming apples as snack for diabetic patients are considered safe.
- Prevents the Development of Cancerous Cells
The only potent way of how to prevent cancer is by making sure your body has enough antioxidants. As mentioned in some previous points, honeycrisp apples are packed with potent antioxidants that could help preventing the developments of cancerous cells.
- Good for Cardiovascular Health
Fiber found in honeycrisp apples is great for cardiovascular health. Moreover, honeycrisp apples also contain potassium that could help balancing the excessive amount of sodium in the blood stream to help controlling the symptoms of high blood pressure that could lead to more fatal condition such as stroke and heart attack.
- Promotes Healthy Skin
If you want to have healthy and young skin, consuming fruits and vegetables in daily basis is highly recommended and apple is among fruits that you should add to your daily diet because apples are super tasty and nutritious.
Cautions of Honeycrisp Apples
Due to its firmness appearance, honeycrisp apples are easy to be transported or exported. That is why as customers you should know well from where your apples come from. It is better to get fresh apples but if you are living in countries where the only option to get apples are by exporting it, there are some cautions you should aware of.
- Some suppliers are applying wax to keep apples from getting rotten. That is why washing and brushing your apples with running water before consuming it is highly recommended because apples are best to consumed with their skin since the skin contains all the fiber you need.
- Honeycrisp apples are best to be consumed during breakfast because they are excellent energy booster. However, those who have sensitive stomach should avoid consuming it in empty stomach because it could cause bloating.
Well, adding honeycrisp apples to your daily diet is highly recommended because this fruit is not only tasty but also healthy. Moreover, honeycrisp apples are variety of apples that is easy to find not only in America but also around the world.
All About Pink Lady Apples
Originally published April 2017
Say hello to the gorgeous Pink Lady® apple! Pink Lady® apples are hard to miss when viewing at the grocery store. Their gorgeous pink coloring and perfectly round shape would make any apple love do a doubletake. So what is this lady apple all about? What is her story? Let’s dive in!
What do Pink Lady® apples taste like?
This sweet-tart apple has high sugars and high acids with a crisp bite and effervescent finish. It tends to fall more towards the tart side than sweet but is oh so refreshing! It has a beautiful, bright white flesh that is slow to oxidize (in other words, slow to brown) making it a wonderful apple to entertain with. This apple is also one of the main varieties used for pre-packaged apple slices. The Pink Lady® apple is extremely versatile and can be used for baking, snacking, salads, pairing, or for sauce.
Try this Apple Coffee Cake or this Harvest Buddha Bowl, which both feature Pink Lady® apples!
Where did the Pink Lady® apple originate?
Pink Lady® apples were born down under in the 1970s under the cultivar name Cripps Pink (see below for more on the cultivar name!). A researcher named John Cripps, who worked for Western Australia’s Department of Agriculture, crossed the American classic Golden Delicious apple with a late-ripening and attractive red Australian apple called Lady Williams. The result: a beautifully vibrant pink-skinned apple with a unique flavor that would become a fan favorite around the world. Pink Lady® made its way up to the USA in the late 1990s where Stemilt has been growing it ever since!
Where are Pink Lady® apples grown?
Pink Lady® apples are grown all over the world, but Stemilt grows them in Washington State, primarily in the central region of the state. Pink Lady® apples prefer environments that are hot, as this allows them to color beautifully. Stemilt decided that the Columbia Basin region (a region where many of their apple varieties grow) would be a perfect fit due its plentiful sunny, warm (sometimes hot) days, natural water sources and nutrient-rich volcanic soil. Pink Lady® has an incredibly long growing season – 200 days long! This variety is one of the first to blossom (around mid-April) along with our early-ripening variety, Rave® and the last to be harvested in mid-October.
Storing Pink Lady® Apples
Pink Lady® apples are a hardy apple and store very well in Controlled Atmosphere (CA) Storage. This allows us to have the variety around nearly year-round! The Pink Lady® apple is available from October through July and the season for organic Pink Lady® apples runs from October through June. To store any apple variety after purchase, it is best to keep them unwashed in the refrigerator just until prior to eating. Once you are ready to eat, give them a quick wash with cold water and enjoy!
Pink Lady® Apples was the first apple with a trademark!
Cripps Pink is the cultivar name, or name of the plant that grows Pink Lady® apples. Plants are patented to protect intellectual property, but because patents eventually run out, growers have opted to market them under a trademark, or brand name. Pink Lady® was the first apple to be awarded a trademarked name. Growers like Stemilt must obtain a license in order to grow, pack and market this apple variety under the Pink Lady® name. Apples that are sold under the Pink Lady® brand name must meet high-quality standards and every apple that goes to market as a Pink Lady® must meet criteria for sugar content, firmness, color and blemishes. Stemilt is proud to be one of the longest and leading growers of zippy Pink Lady® apples!
Other fun facts about Pink Lady® apples:
The apple is named after a cocktail! Apple breeder John Cripps loved the novel The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Montsarrat. In the book, the hero enjoys a cocktail called a “Pink Lady.”
It makes Pink Applesauce! Find the recipe here!
It pairs well with cheese varieties like Gorgonzola, Monterey Jack, Swiss or Emmental, Kasseri, and Port Salut!
Why we are eating the wrong kind of apples
“The Jazz and the Pink Lady are not great apples. They have been engineered on sweetness, shapes, colours and resistance to disease. But mostly sugar, sugar, sugar. It’s wrong. That’s not the definition of a good food. We are addicted to sugar and the retailers know it.”
The English Royal Gala is the single most popular apple sold in stores, accounting for 31 per cent of sales (or 32,237 tonnes) from July 2013 to July 2014. Cox’s Orange Pippin, which has a more complex flavour, accounted for 21 per cent (or 21,310 tonnes).
“Our taste is now so neutralised that we identify taste with sweetness,” said Blanc, who is introducing sharper, more pungent apples at his orchard. “Sugar is not a good taste. For any great taste, you need contradictions, a mix of sweet, sour, acid, bitter or salty.”
With the sweet apple varieties, he said, “you have mono-flavours. You have lost the taste of the apple”.
The sugar content of apples sold in Britain is between 12 per cent and 14 per cent. The taste depends on the fruit’s balance of sugar and acidity.
Tim Biddlecombe, chairman and chief executive of the Farm Advisory Services Team, which advises apple growers, said the Gala does not contain more sugar than the Cox, but tastes sweeter because of its lower acid content.
“There is no doubt that our tastes have shifted quite considerably towards sweeter fruit,” said Adrian Barlow, the chief executive of English Apples and Pears, which promotes the English apple industry. “The Cox balances sweetness and acidity, but the Gala is all sweetness.
“People associate appearance with taste, but that’s often not the case.”
Britons now eat about 80 per cent more red than green apples. The appeal of appearance and sweetness has led to a rise in our consumption of four apples from the Antipodes. Galas are from New Zealand, as are the Braeburn and Jazz varieties, bred by crossing Gala and Braeburn, although some of these are now grown here. Pink Lady apples, a cross between Lady Williams and Golden Delicious, are from Australia.
However, Blanc, who was born in eastern France but has become one of Britain’s most respect chefs, said: “We have the best climate for growing apples. Home-grown apples mean a better taste, a better texture, a better flavour, a better colour and better nutrients.”
Blanc intends to grow 115 varieties of apple in the five-hectare orchard he planted three years ago.
Chief among the 1,940 trees will be the Queen’s Cox and the Cox Orange Pippins.
“They have this beautiful balance of acidity, sweetness and perfume,” he said. “And they have less sugar. But that’s the problem: we are so addicted to sugar that we are not used to these flavours.”
Blanc and his team tasted more than 100 varieties of apple, rating them for stewing, baking, tarts and Tatins.
Despite his criticisms, Blanc predicts an imminent “shift” of consumers returning to “flavour, to ethics, to traceability, to provenance and to freshness”.
Raymond Blanc’s taste notes
Best for tarts: Captain Kidd
It may have been developed in New Zealand, but this apple comes from a Cox’s Orange Pippin. It has a firm texture, medium acidity and good “apple” flavour. “Good apples for tarts break down beautifully when cooked, and have a breadth of flavour and sub-flavours,” says the chef.
Best for tatins: Devonshire Quarrenden
“This is such an old apple . It has an excellent, sharp taste.”
The variety has a good texture, low acidity and pale green colour when used in Tatins, according to Blanc’s head gardener at Le Manoir, Anne Marie Owens.
Best for baked: Chivers Delight
“My heart broke down when I tasted this apple. It blew me away. It was sweet, juicy and crunchy.”
Best for juicing: Egremont Russet
This apple, originally from Somerset, scores an acceptable seven for tarts for its firm texture, low acidity and pale colour, but Blanc champions it for juicing.
Best for puree: Queen’s Cox
“This apple has real perfume, texture and flavour. It gave me my greatest apple experience.”
Best for everything: Cox’s Orange Pippin
Blanc champions this apple, originally from Buckinghamshire, as the best “all-rounder”, and says it is hugely under-appreciated.
And ones to avoid:
Crimson Bramley and Bramley’s Seedling
“The Bramley is a great apple because it breaks down very quickly as a puree. But it is very acidic: you need so much sugar.”
Rev W Wilks
This apple variety dating from 1904 in Chelsea scores poorly all round.
Most people know apples are good for you, but just how healthy are they and is there a healthiest apple in the world?
Actually there is. A recent scientific study, conducted at the University of Western Australia, found that the Pink Lady variety had the highest level of antioxidant flavonoids. Accordingly, they have a good claim to the title of the healthiest apple to eat.
While other factors, like the soil they are grown in which can affect mineral content, and whether or not they are organic would come into play, flavonoids are definitely a big part of what makes apples so good for you. Here’s why.
What Are Flavonoids?
Flavonoids are a broad term for several different classes of plant-based, water soluble nutritional compounds. They have been studied primarily for their ability to quench free radicals damage within your body that can lead to serious health problems such as heart disease and hasten the visible signs of aging like wrinkles.
Essentially, a diet high in antioxidant flavonoids is believed to help prevent and even repair cellular damage and inflammation within your body. This can lead to a lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s, dementia, certain cancers and many other health issues.
6 Important Flavonoids in Apples
1. Quercetin – This flavonoid is associated with reducing inflammation, particularly of the cardiovascular system and improving your immunity. Quercetin has also been used to help reduce allergies and in vitro studies show it slows the growth of some kinds of cancer cells.
2. Myricetin – This is another flavonoid found in apples with anti-cancer properties. Animal studies have demonstrated it has specific actions against colon, pancreatic and skin cancer. It is also thought to inhibit LDL cholesterol oxidization, which is a known risk factor for both strokes and heart attacks.
3. Kaempferol – The powerful antioxidant kaempferol is believed to reduce oxidative damage to our cells and their DNA. Like both quercetin and myricetin, kaempferol is particularly valuable for preventing cardiovascular disease. This flavonoid also has strong anti-inflammatory properties and has been associated with a reduced risk of both skin cancer and pancreatic cancer.
4. Epicatechin – Epicatechin is a polyphenol found in apples that is linked to lower rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes as well as improved memory. Studies have shown a reduction in fatty deposits and degeneration of arteries with epicatechin supplementation.
5. Chlorogenic acid – As well as having strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, this phenolic acid can help with weight loss by improving glucose tolerance for less fat-storing excess insulin. Green coffee bean extract is the most potent source of chlorogenic acid, but a daily apple can certainly help.
6. Procyanidin B2 – Unusually, this flavonoid, of which apples are the highest source, appears to have a special effect on your hair and how fast it grows. Procyanidin B2 is said to stimulate hair growth by activating the anagen (growth) phase of the hair follicle and decreasing the time that follicles remain dormant.
Scientific studies on these individual antioxidants, while interesting (at least to some strange people like me), don’t really tell the whole story though. It’s almost certain that rather than one or two individual compounds being responsible for the health benefits of apples, it’s the sum total of all the nutrients they contain working together that make them such a potent disease preventing and anti-aging fruit.
There is however something many of us are doing to greatly reduce how much the nutritional value we get from our apples. I did it for years but now I’ve found a better way.
Why You Shouldn’t Peel Your Apples, or Should You?
The majority of the beneficial antioxidants listed above like quercetin, kaempferol and myricetin are found in or just below the skin in apples. Unfortunately many of us peel them, thus removing the most nutrient rich part of the fruit.
There’s good reason to do this though as conventionally grown apples are a heavily sprayed crop. They also have wax applied to their skin to shine them up for the supermarket. They might look good but who wants to be eating chemicals with names like thiabendazole, azinphos methyl or carbendazim and waxes often derived from beetle secretions.
Whenever you can, buy organic apples that have not been grown with chemical fertilizers and sprayed with toxic pesticides. They probably won’t look as shiny as regular supermarket apples but they’ll be so much better for you.
If you can only get conventionally grown apples and would like to try getting any pesticide residue and waxes off them then the following method is believed to greatly reduce chemicals on your produce.
To a bowl just big enough to fit your fruit in, add hot water and a good splash of vinegar and let your apples soak in it for at least 30 seconds, a minute or two would be better. Next scrub them thoroughly with a scrubbing brush in the water. Once this is done, rinse them under the tap and they’re good to go.
While it’s not guaranteed to remove all pesticides, some resources state that a solution of white vinegar and water will remove 98% of pesticides as well as kill any bacteria on the fruits or vegetables.
Here’s an interesting video about the history and nutrition of apples.
Apples are a very healthy fruit and it seems we are only just discovering how true the old apple a day saying is. And if you can find the high antioxidant Pink Lady variety grown organically, they may just be one of the most nutritious fruits you’ll eat for a long while.
How do you like to eat your apples? Skin on or peeled, washed or straight from the fruit bowl? I’d also be really interested to hear what’s your favorite type of apple. I’ve always gone for organic Red Delicious, but after researching this page, I’ll be looking out for those Pink Ladies at the real food stores.
6 Fantastic Health Benefits of Apples
Sweet but with a lemony finish. Crisp, tangy to the point of tartness. Spicy and fragrant. No, we’re not discussing the merits of fine wines. We’re talking apples!
October is National Apple Month, the time to celebrate the glory of the fruit, as the nation has been doing since 1904 when National Apple Week was born. In 1996, October became National Apple Month.
Domesticated some four thousand years ago in the fruity forests of what is now Kazakhstan, apples became a part of the human diet a long time ago. With flavors shaped by their respective climates — the shorter the growing season the tarter the fruit — apples have been grown across the United States for centuries. But not until the last few decades, starting in the 1980s,have apple breeders offered such a variety and explosion of flavors: Fuji, Gala, Pink Lady, Honeycrisp, SweeTango, and many more. Remember when there were only a few like Red Delicious or Golden Delicious or McIntosh to be found in grocery stores?
But the history and diversity of apples is not the only thing to celebrate. Apples also can be credited with delivering an amazing number of health benefits, such as:
1. Fighting bad breath. Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odors. Pectin also promotes saliva, which cleanses breath.
2. Preventing asthma attacks. Asthma sufferers often have low levels of antioxidants. Apples are high in vitamin C and flavonoids (beneficial, water-soluble plant pigments). Both are antioxidant. One study found that vitamin C supplements helped protect against exercise-induced asthma.
3. Reducing the risk of stroke. A study involving 9,208 men and women showed that those who ate the most apples over a 28-year period had the lowest risk for stroke. Researchers concluded that the results suggest the intake of apples is related to a decreased risk of thrombotic stroke.
4. Preventing constipation. Fresh apples are high in fiber, which adds bulk to the stool. Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, or roughage.
5. Combating fatigue. The high vitamin C and antioxidant content in apples counter the free radicals leading to oxidative stress, which has been linked to fatigue.
6. Reducing the risk of diabetes. The phytonutrients (beneficial substances found in various plants) in apples help regulate blood sugar.These compounds help prevent spikes in blood sugar in a variety of ways: by inhibiting enzymes involved in the breakdown of carbohydrates into simple sugars; by stimulating pancreatic cells to produce insulin; by decreasing the absorption of sugars into the bloodstream.
Compared to other commonly consumed fruits in the U.S, these nutritional powerhouses ranked second for highest antioxidant activity. However, they ranked highest in the proportion of free phenolic compounds—substances not bound to other compounds in the fruit and thus more easily absorbed into the bloodstream. So stock up on a good supply of apples for this season. And don’t cut off the peels. They contain much of apples’ fiber and antioxidant power.
In addition to the crunchy beauties in the fruit bowl, don’t forget to try some of the apple treats found in 500 Time-Tested Home Remedies and the Science Behind Them. Here are two recipes to get you started:
Johnny Apple Treat
- 1 apple
- ¼ cup raisins
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- Ground cinnamon
Coarsely grate the apple into a small bowl. Mix in the walnuts and raisins. Add the lemon juice and toss. Sprinkle with cinnamon to taste.
For chilly autumn days or if you feel a cold coming on and want to soothe an irritated throat.
- 1 quart apple juice or cider
- 1 quart water
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 or 4 whole cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Fresh lemon juice
Pour the juice and water into a large pan. Add the spices. Heat until just beginning to boil. Turn the heat to low, stirring occasionally. Simmer for 30 minutes. Strain out the cinnamon stick and cloves. Enjoy each cup with a squirt of lemon juice.
The Remedy Chicks
The science behind how apples assist human health by improving cardiovascular health was presented this week at Western Australian Horticulture Update by UWA senior research fellow Michael Considine and adjunct research fellow Catherine Bondonno, a postdoctoral research fellow in the School of Medical and Health Sciences at Edith Cowan University.
Considine said the work began about 10 years ago with the aim of trying to validate the health benefits of apples to add value to varieties developed from the Australian National Apple Breeding Program funded by the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development.
“The research has three parts: to identify the traits of a healthy apple, develop tools to accelerate the breeding program, and use the outcome as a marketing and promotion tool for WA apples,” Considine said.
Bondonno said apples were high in ‘flavonoids‘ (antioxidants), which are concentrated in the skin rather than the flesh of apples.
“Apples are particularly high in the flavonoid quercetin, however consumption of the whole fruit is necessary to obtain the health benefits,” she said.
“A large number of studies have shown that dietary flavonoids provide many benefits for cardiovascular health. We have screened the flavonoid content of over 100 apples from the national breeding program based in Western Australia, and identified apples that are high in flavonoids, including Pink Lad and Bravo-branded apples.
“Two clinical trials have demonstrated the positive effect of Pink Lady apple consumption on cardiovascular health – one study demonstrated improved blood vessel function within hours of eating apple and the second trial showed these effects are sustained following four weeks of daily intake by people at risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Considine, who is intimately involved with the national breeding program, said the original motivation was to demonstrate that apples are a natural ‘functional food’.
Research supporting the presentation has been funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia, the department, UWA, ECU, Pomewest, and Fruit West.
Pink apples: are they the best in terms of quality?
By Melanie Leyshon, HFG editor
Melanie Leyshon is the editor of Healthy Food Guide magazine. She’s a flexitarian and couldn’t get through the week without yogurt and yoga.
When it comes to healthy eating, apples are great, and there’s one variety that’s top of the tree in terms of quality.
We know pink-skinned apples offer health extras when it comes to managing our blood sugar levels. That’s because when their antioxidant pigments, called anthocyanins, are combined with the polyphenols in the fruit, they can help lower the absorption of glucose. The fibre in apples also plays it part with this process. One of Healthy Food Guide’s favourite apples is Pink Lady, which recently won a Best of Health Award in our annual food and drink awards.
How they’re picked
Last November, I visited the start of the month-long Pink Lady® apple harvest at Earl Gailet farm, near Avignon. It’s quite an event, where the locals gather for a celebratory buffet lunch with French wine, naturally, to kick off the picking season – which is all done by hand. In the orchards, row upon row of the low level-growing pink apples creates a glowing pink canopy. The Pink Lady Cripps Pink and Rosy Glow varieties are real stunners and hand picking them ensures they aren’t bruised. If it rains, picking is halted for two days to prevent any damage. These apples thrive in the Provencal climate, as the hot days and cooler nights help the distinctive pink skin develop.
Why they taste so good
After picking, Pink Lady apples are delivered to a packing station for grading. In 2017, 9,400 tons of Pink Lady® apples grown in Provence were sold in the UK. I saw a fair number of this season’s crop bobbing happily along in water channels, according to size. Before their bath, apples from each farmer are tested for their balance of sugar and acidity. The standard Brix reading for a Pink Lady is 13%, which, to you and me, means, that balance delivers the most appealing taste. Those that don’t make the grade are used for animal feed.
Looking after the orchard
On the Earl Gailet farm no pesticides are used. Grower Stéphane Gailet explained that his family’s orchards are pollinated naturally by bees, which only takes 10 days. And the good weather in 2018 means we’re in for a bumper crop this year – no frost in April and rain in August certainly helped the harvest.
Pink Lady apples are widely available at supermarkets. Find out more at pinkladyapples.co.uk
Read nutrition editor Amanda Ursell’s blog about apples and weight loss
Images courtesy of Wendy H Gilmour (aka @thankfifi)
Nutritional Powerhouse of Flavonoids
Nothing beats a bite of the juicy red apple to quench your thirst and satisfy your sweet craving. Best of all, it gives a boost to your health. It makes absolute sense why An Apple a Day Does Keep the Good Doctor Away.
Apples have a wide range of phytonutrients, according to researchers in the article, Apple Phytochemicals and Their Health Benefits. Many of these phytonutrients have strong antioxidant and anticancer activities.
Apples are phytonutrient-rich with flavonoids (like quercetin). They are also packed with vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, and are sodium-fat-cholesterol free. Flavonoids are a group of plant-based antioxidant compounds concentrated mainly in the skin.
Flavonoids gives the apple its colour, scent, and flavour
These plant pigments are responsible for the colour, scent, and flavour of many flowers, vegetables and fruits including the apple. Pigment levels differ depending on apple cultivar.
Consuming apple seeds in large quantities are not recommended due to its cyanide content. Pectin is the soluble dietary fibre found in the skin, core and pulp of fresh apples.
Studies have linked apples with decreased risk of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease, cancer and asthma.
Top 7 Health Benefits
- Reduce heart disease: The quercetin in apples may help prevent chronic inflammation, lower hypertension, and protect arteries from plaque build-up.
- Lessen risk or support recovery from respiratory diseases including asthma and bronchitis. Quercetin helps shield the lungs from atmospheric pollutants.
- Improve memory and avert degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s. Red Delicious apples have strong neuro protective effects.
- Bone strengthening: boron mineral in red apples is beneficial for regulating hormones and preventing osteoporosis.
Apples – a natural remedy for treating digestive disorders.
- Anti-aging: improve youthfulness – flavonoid, phloridzin prevents glycation, a common cause of aging.
- Regulate digestive system: apple pectin assist in regulating bowel movements. It is also used as a natural remedy for treating digestive disorders.
- Protection against cancer: UK researchers revealed that apple pectin protects against cancer.
Related: Abbotsford: Culinary and Fun Getaways Packed with Tasty Thrills
Washing and Storing Apples
Apples are enjoyed whole, in juice and cider, as a vinegar, sauce or dessert. Wash an apple only when you are ready to eat. This avoids stripping off some of the skin’s natural protection.
Rinse under running water gently scrubbing with your hands or soft brush. Soap is not recommended. Apples are ranked among the top fruits on the ‘dirty dozen foods with high pesticide residue’ list.
Washing the apple skin is vital to removing contaminants especially in non-organic apples.
They are best refrigerated to maintain freshness. Refrigerated apples last 10 times longer. Late-season apples (winter apples) are the best keepers as they stay fresh through winter into spring.