Apples are among the most popular fruits in the world. No wonder, because they can be used almost everywhere: as breakfast in muesli, in salads, as dessert or as juice, to name just a few examples. Apples are not only delicious and versatile, they are also very healthy! In honour of this great fruit, we'll tell you a few juicy facts today.
Apples have been around for thousands of years: The Romans already cultivated the fruit. DNA analyses have shown that our apples descend from an ancient apple called Malus sieversii (Asian wild apple). It still grows in the mountains of southern Kazakhstan. Today, there are more than 30,000 apple varieties in the world. However, only about 30 of them are used and traded commercially.
Did you know that apples and roses are related? In fact, the apple tree belongs to the rose family. This family also includes many other fruits, such as the apricot, the strawberry or the pear.
To harvest an apple, you have to have some patience: Apple trees need 5-7 years before they bear fruit for the first time. But they can live up to 100 years.
In Europe, apples are in season almost all year round. On the one hand, the fruit grows abundantly in this part of the world. On the other hand, certain varieties can be stored very well and thus last the whole winter.
However, not all apple varieties are suitable for storage. Apples that ripen very early in autumn are usually not suitable for storage. They are best eaten straight from the tree. Late-season apples have the longest shelf life.
If you grow apples in your garden, it is best to store them in a cold, dark place with high humidity. Suitable places are dark cellars, frost-proof garages or cool attics.
You should also always store your apples away from other fruit. Apples emit ethylene gas, which accelerates the ripening of other fruits and vegetables.
Apples consist of up to 85 percent water and are great to keep you hydrated. They also contain many important vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, provitamin A, B vitamins, potassium, magnesium, calcium and iron. A large amount of dietary fibre in the form of pectin and cellulose supports healthy digestion.
What's important to know: Most of the vitamins in apples are in or directly under the skin. That is why you should always eat apples with the peel.
Eating apples is healthy, environmentally friendly and fills your stomach. So grab a few at your next grocery store!
Put them on your shopping list right away.