One for all! Everyone loves him: the apple is the “national fruit” of the Austrians. Every year, each of us eats around 20 kilos of the crunchy fruits. Especially local apples are the epitome of freshness and health. They contain many vitamins, minerals and fiber. In old, sour-tasting varieties also contains a large amount of healthy fruit acids. Bite into the sour apple regularly!
Boskop, Elstar, Gala, Grafensteiner, Idared, Crown Prince Rudolf, Rubinette, Topaz: The list of apple varieties seems endless. It is estimated that there are 20,000 varieties worldwide.
Apples are a sought-after fruit around the globe and especially in our latitudes: they taste great in cakes, compotes and juices – and, of course, as a crispy snack directly from the tree or from the fruit basket. “The apple is an everyday fruit that has become established in our eating habits,” reports Dr. med. Birgit Wild, nutrition scientist at UMIT, the Private University of Health Sciences, Medical Informatics and Technology in Hall in Tirol. Thanks to the diversity of varieties, there is the right flavor for every palate – from fine-sour to fruity-sweet. And that, without burdening the calorie account significantly: In an average sized apple stuck about 60 kilocalories.
For immune system and cell health
Apples are literally so healthy that you do not need a doctor: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” they say. Which ingredients make the fruit a medicine? On the one hand, it provides many vitamins – from provitamin A, which is good for the skin and eyes, to B vitamins for our nerves, to anti-aging vitamin E, which has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. The level of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system, varies from cultivar to variety: “A Boskop contains about four times as much vitamin C as a Golden Delicious,” informs Wild.
With regard to minerals, the fruit is characterized by a high content of potassium: potassium regulates the water balance and has an antihypertensive effect. Also calcium, which is important for bones and teeth, and iron, which we need for blood formation, are included.
Like all fruits, apples are also rich in phytochemicals, especially polyphenols. These are anticarcinogenic, that is, they prevent cancer. Furthermore, they promote blood clotting and can make free radicals harmless – for the good of cell health. However, this does not apply to all varieties. Modern breeds such as the green Granny Smith contain less of these bioactive substances. Very well, the equally cheap white plant dye Quercetin in Granny Smith. This anticarcinogenic in the stomach and intestinal area, promotes blood clotting and blood vessel health.
Since the apple peel contains tannins, which are good for our digestion and promote intestinal health, it is better not to peel the fruit. The shell is also rich in fiber, which also promote digestion.
The healthy mix of minerals and vitamins in combination with phytochemicals gives apples an anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting effect.
Energy supplier and digestive aid
Furthermore, sugar, which we need for the immune system, among other things, is contained in the fruit. They are mainly soluble sugars, such as glucose, sucrose and fructose, which rapidly enter the blood, providing energy quickly. And that, without burdening the blood sugar level. “That’s why apples are good for diabetics,” adds the nutritionist. In addition, the fruit is beneficial to the fat metabolism.
In addition to sweetness, acidity plays an important role – especially the different fruit acids: sour-tasting apples are especially rich in malic acid, tartaric acid and citric acid. These are likely to contribute significantly to the antibacterial effect of the fruits. In addition, the fruit acids promote digestion: they activate digestive enzymes and stimulate salivation. They also contribute to dental health by cleaning the teeth and strengthening the gums and oral flora.
Fruit acids are also a “preservative” for all nutrients and keep the phytochemicals stable. “The more acidic an apple, the more polyphenols,” says Wild.
Good old varieties
Studies show that the content of healthy ingredients in old apple varieties is particularly high. This may have something to do with the fact that old varieties contain more of the preservative fruit acids. More often, take to varieties like Renette, Grafensteiner, Boskop, Gloucester or the light yellow crab apples. These are not durable, but can be easily processed into applesauce or compote.
Old varieties are also rich in the soluble fiber pectin, which has a beneficial effect on fat metabolism. “Pectin binds bile acids in the gut, so the body needs to make new bile acids from cholesterol, which regulates cholesterol levels,” explains Wild. In addition, pectin can bind pollutants in the colon: These are absorbed as by a sponge and excreted.
Last but not least, old varieties of pollen allergy sufferers are better tolerated as they contain fewer potential allergens. Especially birch pollen allergy sufferers often react with complaints on apples. Boskop or Rubinette should contain less allergenic protein, especially the mal d 1 protein. “This protein can be inactivated by polyphenols,” informs Wild. And because there are more polyphenols in the old varieties, they also contain fewer “apple allergens”.
Old cultivated fruit. The apple (Malus) is a pome fruit from the family Rosaceae. By far the best known is the culture apple (Malus domestica) with its approximately 20,000 varieties. The name “malus” comes from the Latin and means “evil” – possibly an allusion to the Old Testament, in which the apple was the reason for the expulsion of Adam and Eve from paradise. In ancient times, the apple was considered a symbol of love and fertility.
Originally, the fruit was in the regions around the Black and Caspian Sea, about in today’s Kazakhstan, home. Already in the first century AD, it was cultivated in Europe and then spread across the globe.
Apple country. In Austria, the apple is by far the most popular fruit – around 20 kilograms are consumed per capita per year. The largest apple-growing region in Styria – Styrian apples are the epitome of the crisp-delicious fruit.
Conserve nutrients. Even in compote, mush or apple strudel, apples provide valuable ingredients such as the heat-stable minerals. “If the shell is processed, the bioactive substances and fiber are also included,” adds nutritionist Dr. med. Birgit Wild. In order to preserve as much of the light- and heat-sensitive vitamin C, she recommends “a gentle preparation”.
Tips and Tricks
Good storage. Apples can be stored for a long time – preferably in a cool, not too dry place, eg. B. in the fridge or basement. Because they produce the maturation gas ethylene, they should be stored separately from other fruits and vegetables.
Versatile. Apples are excellent with cheese. They taste in the fruit salad and perfectly round off the Tafelspitz in the Apfelkren. In addition, they are suitable for the production of jelly, jam, mus, chutney, juice and wine. Even from the flour pastry kitchen, the fruit is indispensable.
Proven cure. “Apple peel tea is prescribed in nutritional medicine for colds and diseases of the upper respiratory tract such as bronchitis,” explains Wild. Apple cider vinegar relieves heartburn and has a mildly disinfecting effect. For gastrointestinal complaints grated apple is recommended: The pectin has a disinfecting, calming and easy stuffing.
Source: Medizin Populaer