Chances are that have seen multiple verities of apples at the supermarket but do you know that they can range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as big as a grapefruit? To make thing more interesting, apples come in a number of varieties, each having a distinct taste, color, and texture! In fact, more than 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States alone. No wonder – apples are one the favorite and most widely used fruits all around the world!
Traditionally, the juicy scrumptious fruit is a native to Central Asia where Malus sieversii, the wild ancestor of apples, is still found in abundance. They have been grown and cultivated in Asia and Europe for centuries and were introduced to North America by the European colonists. In fact, scientists have found traces of apple DNA dating back about ten to twenty million years to the era when humans were just starting to evolve! Therefore, it’s not wrong to assume that apples have evolved alongside humans and may have been as popular among our ancient ancestors as they are nowadays!
Today, apples are used in a number of ways. Whether you are making an apple pie or wish to enjoy sweet delicious jam, apples are the fruit for you. You can even eat them raw! In short, apples are delicious in every form, no matter how you consume them.
Another important thing to note about apples is that they do not only taste good but they are also super healthy. They are extremely rich in antioxidants, dietary fibers, and flavonoids. Moreover, they contain almost no fat. This makes them one of the healthiest foods out there. Therefore, it did not come as a surprise when apples ranked first in the Medical News Today’s list of Top 10 Healthy Foods!
Owing to their distinct and amazing properties, apples are abundantly used in the beauty industry as well. From facial scrubs and hand creams to soaps and body washes, the miracle fruit is used extensively in the world of skincare. Let’s take a look at some of the most beneficial benefits of including apples in your daily diet.
Table of Contents
- Health Benefits of Apples
- Types of Apples
An apple a day keeps the doctor away – most of us have heard this proverb at many points in our lives. Luckily, it stands true! Including apple in your daily diet can have tremendous benefits on your health and overall quality of life.
Improves Neurological Health
Studies have shown that apples are a great way to boost one’s neurological health. The beneficial compounds naturally found in apples can help reduce cellular death in the brain caused by oxidation. This may result in improved memory and help with preventing diseases like Dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Lowers Levels of Bad Cholesterol
Apple has been deemed a “miracle fruit” for its ability to lower bad cholesterol in the body. This means that the daily consumption of apples is not only good for your mind, but it can also improve your cardiovascular health, considerably lowering the risk of stroke!
Are you looking for a healthy way to lose some extra pounds without starving yourself? Apples have got your back! Since the fruit has almost zero fat, it is one of the best dietary options for when you are trying to lose weight. It is interesting to know, researchers have found that out of all the different types of apples, Granny Smith appears to be the most effective in fighting obesity. Therefore, if you are trying to lose some weight, Granny Smith apples should be your new best friends!
Promotes Healthy Skin
Do you dream about having a healthy, glowing, younger-looking skin? It’s time you have some apples! Loaded with excellent antioxidants like Vitamin C, regular apple consumption can be extremely beneficial for your skin. It not only helps build collagen and melanin but also works to protect your skin from the effects of pollution and the harmful UV rays of the sun. Keep in mind that apples are also good for your hair, nails, and eyes!
These are just a few of the many benefits of regularly consuming apples. Apart from these, apples can help ward off breast cancer, reduce the risk of diabetes, help fight asthma, enhance bone health and may even protect against a few particular types of stomach injuries.
Types of Apples
You may be surprised to know that there are nearly 7,500 varieties of apples! Around 2,500 varieties are found in the United States and approximately 100 are grown for commercial purposes. This means that you can find a number of different kinds of apples in the market. While all of them are equally good, have you ever given a thought about which ones are your favorite? It’s time you learn all about the different kinds of your favorite fruit and decide for yourself which ones you like the most! Scroll down to read about some of the more popular types of apples that you are likely to find in the supermarket.
As the name suggests, Jonagold apple is a hybrid of Jonathan and the Golden Delicious apples. These apples have a lovely red hue with a slight hint of yellow. They are comparatively larger in size to most other types of apples. They are sweet like the Golden Delicious and have a thin skin. If you are thinking about making an apple dessert, Jonagold apples can enhance the taste of your dish to give it the sweet, tangy taste of apples.
Cortland is an all-purpose apple. Whether you want to bake it, toast it, cook it, or eat it raw, Cortland apples won’t let you down. Cortland apples are generally soft with a creamy white interior. They are usually bright red in color and are often covered with dark red streaks. More often than not, you can also find a green blush at the top of the fruit. The creamy white flesh is generally finely grained and exceptionally juicy. Biting into a Cortland apple will give you a sweet-tart flavor that resembles a little like wine!
As discussed earlier, Granny Smith apples are extremely healthy for your body. However, the good news is that they are equally scrumptious. In order to spot a Granny Smith apple, look for bright green skin speckled with faint white spots. Also, keep in mind that these apples are usually round in shape. They are generously juicy and usually have thick skin.
Remember, most unripe apples are green, just like Granny Smith apples, so make sure that you don’t confuse the two of them. They might look alike but in reality, they can’t be any more different! Also, these tart-sweet apples enjoy a relatively long shelf life than most other types of apples so you can buy a bunch in one go and enjoy them for a long time!
Cameo apples were first discovered in Washington State, in 1987. However, owing to their amazing taste, the fruit readily gained popularity and today, it is easily available in the market. The Cameo apple is thought to come from both, red and yellow delicious’. This explains the skin of these apples – a unique blend of red and yellow, thicker than the Golden variety and thinner than the Yellow apples. If you are looking for the perfect apples to devour raw, cameo apple should be on the top of your list. These apples are not delicious in taste but are also firm, crisp, and juicy. They also work extremely well in desserts and add a delicious, refreshing taste to baking and cooking recopies.
Gravenstein apples emerged sometime around the 17th century and have been in high demand ever since. The fruit has a delicate waxy skin that is yellowish green in color, having crimson red spots or reddish streaks. However, it is important to note that sometimes these apples can also come in a traditionally red variation. The red ones are generally known as Red Gravensteins. The flesh of all Gravenstein apples are pale yellow in color and is typically finely grained.
The White Transparent apples originated as the result of a chance seedling. In other words, the fruit originated from unintentional cross-breeding. To be more specific about the origin of the White Transparent apple, it was first found in around 1850s, in the Wagner Nursery in Riga. Soon, it became quite popular and was abundantly grown throughout the 19th century, all around Europe. However, it wasn’t until the 1870s that the fruit made its way to North America.
White Transparent apple trees are usually hard and sturdy. Even the fruit has high resistance to scabs. However, wood is susceptible to multiple plant diseases and fungi. This means that these trees require a little extra attention than other fruits.
If you are wondering why it’s called white transparent apple, you may be interested to know that the skin of the apple is almost luminescent in color and it has bright white flesh, having a sharp refreshing taste. This variation of an apple is particularly juicy and scrumptious. However, keep in mind that White Transparent apples tend to rot quickly. Since they have a short shelf life, they are usually harvested while still green. Once they turn yellow, it’s just a matter of a few days before the fruit rots. If you have White Transparent apples, you better finish them fast!
If you spot an apple that is taller than it is wide, you are probably looking at a Gala apple. Gala apples come in a wide range of colors. However, all of them are lighter hues, boasting yellow undertones. To make thing more interesting, the fruit may or not have vertical stripes. However, the refreshing smell of Gala apples is what gives them away! These apples are generally very aromatic and the flesh is sweet, finely grained and textured. Remember, if you are looking to create an apple sauce, using gala apples will help you cook the next level sauce.
It is interesting to note that in 2018, the Gala apples beat the Red Delicious as the apple cultivar and become the highest produced variety of apple in the United States. It was the first time in more than 50 years that any other type apple surpassed the production of the Red Delicious! This goes on to say that Gala apples are high in demand and are loved by everyone all around!
Did you know that Canada has a National Apple? Well, it’s none other than the McIntosh Red Apple! The fruit is green and red in color. It ripens in late September and has a tasty tart flavor that has a slightly spicy tang. This all-purpose apple has soft and tender white flesh, which is as suitable for cooking as well as for raw consumption. It works especially well to make chutney and apple sauce. You can also use it for baking as it is an excellent apple to add moisture and sweetness to your baked goods.
As the name suggests, the Golden Delicious apple is a beautiful golden fruit that is just too tasty to resist. Golden delicious apples are crisp, firm, crunchy, juicy, sweet, mellow, and refreshing – all at the same time! Surely, it does not come as a surprise that these apples are always high in demand and enjoy their position of being a core ingredient in a number of recipes! From making apple sauce to apple pie, the Golden Delicious is the perfect pick! It also tastes great in salads and you can even freeze them.
Empire apple emerged as the cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious. The fruit was developed in 1966 at the New York State Agricultural Station. The Empire apples are perfect for cooking. They are usually bright red in color, dotted with faint white striations. On top of the fruit, you are likely to notice a hint of green. The flesh of an Empire apple is generally harder and firmer than that of McIntosh apples. It is creamy white in color and is very firm, juicy, and sweet.
Formerly known as the Golden winter Pearmain, King of the Pippins is one of the oldest cultivars of domestic apples that are still grown in their original form. The ripening time for the King of the Pippins is later than the most other types of apples. In fact, unlike most apples, it is harvested in the late fall. If you want to taste an apple that is like none other, it’s time you try the King of Pippins.
The name says it all – Honeycrisp apples are crisp, firm and sweet as honey! Moreover, every bite of Honeycrisp is nothing less than a burst of refreshing juice. No wonder, these apples are extremely popular. The fruit is bright red in color and is mottled with pale yellow or green. The distinctive flavor of these apples makes them an excellent ingredient for multiple dishes, including salads, pies, sauces, baking goods, and even apple beverages.
Also known as Piñata, Pinova is a relatively new variety of apple which readily became famous in the apple market. These apples are yellow in color with a blush of pink or orange flush. With its sweet and savory flavor, Pinova apples are best to add to give refreshing tangy flavor to any dish. Next time you want to add a hint of tang to your apple dessert, turn to Pinova apples!
If “sweet” is not the flavor for you, go for Red Delicious apples! As the name suggests, these apples are bright red in color and sometimes feature striped skin. The fruit is crunchy and mildly sweet. Combined together, these two characteristics make the Red Delicious one of the best apple varieties to snack on. It also works exceptionally well in salads to add the moderately sweet and crunchy texture to the final dish!
Green dragons emerged from Japan in around the 1920s. It is interesting to note that this variety is named after the Chinese symbol of royalty and is, in fact, considered to be a delicacy in a number of Asian countries. Unlike most other green apples, Green Dragon does not have a wicked tart kick. Instead, it is sweet and very low on the acidity scale. A slight hint of pear and pineapple flavors make these apples one of its kind and simply irresistible. Also, it is one of the most highly aromatic apples with a mouth-watering refreshing fragrance.
Looking to enjoy a super-sweet apple? Give Fuji a try! Native to Japan, Fuji is cross of Red Delicious and Ralls Janet apples. It was introduced in the market for the first time in 1962. Since then, its popularity and demand have only grown. The crunchy, juicy Fuji has a strong sweet flavor and can be used for baking, cooking, freezing, making beverages, pies, sauces and much more. If you want, you can also enjoy it raw!
Now that you know all about different types of apples, which one do you like the most? Whether you love munching on the refreshing Red Delicious apples or are a fan of the sweet and crunchy Honeycrisp, it is impossible to deny the goodness of apples. So next time you feel like having a snack, simply pick your favorite apple!