In India, the apple season starts in August and goes until December or January. However, we can buy apples all year-round, because India imports them during the off-season from the USA, China, Chile, New Zealand and Italy.
So why are apples so popular, despite the fact that there is no scientific evidence that an apple a day actually keeps the doctor away (I would argue that an amla a day would be better suited to that adage J)? Here are the reasons why:
- Apples are a low calorie, nutrient filled fruit. A 100g of apple has 52 Kcal plus fibre, and is high in Vitamin A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, phosphorus and potassium.
- Apples are a hugely convenient healthy snack to carry around. They don’t have to be cut or boxed and they won’t get soft and squishy like many other fruits.
- Apples have a low glycemic index and can be eaten by diabetics in moderation.
- Given the apple’s high fibre content, it is a long-standing remedy for constipation and stomach or colon ailments. Fibre also helps in reducing cholesterol, protects against cancer and heart disease. The potassium in apples also help with reducing high blood pressure.
- There are so many ways you can consume an apple (besides raw) – Apple juice, cooked apple sauce, in baked goods – apple pie, apple tart, apple cake, apple muffins etc. In salads (the famous Waldorf salad). Apples can also be dehydrated into apples chips and apple cider can be made intoapple cidervinegar. Apples also go well with peanut butter and with cheese.
- Cooked apples are also highly beneficial and easy to digest. Apple sauce is a sugar substitute in cooking and baking, and apple cider vinegar (made by adding yeast to fresh apple juice) has numerous health properties.
- Apple Juice does not have the fibrethat a whole apple does, and a good part of the beneficial nutrients (fibre and antioxidants) are in the skin. So, eat your apples whole, with the skin!
Food Fact 2: Apples turn brown when cut and exposed to air because it contains enzymes that react with oxygen and an iron or copper factor in the fruit. The skin of the apple protects it from this process. Cut apple stored in the fridge will take longer to turn brown.
So, do remember to eat local,eat seasonal, eat sustainable. Apples are best when in season in India and you support local farmer growers that way too.