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Apple Day: Apples contain numerous nutrients and are used as a remedy
"One apple a day and the doctor stays where he likes," says an English saying. Today's apple is all about the healthy, vitamin-rich fruit. Whether as food, ornamental plants or remedies - apples are more popular than ever.
Around 5,000 different varieties attract consumers. "No fruit offers more variety," says Klaus Hahne, operator of the orchard in Laatzen-Gleidingen. The selection of around 5,000 different varieties ranges from table apple to special apple for diabetics. Some companies specialize in the preservation of old apple varieties, while others develop new varieties using genetic engineering. Hahne reports that many customers have specific requests, such as high apple strength. Then the companies would have to react and plant appropriate trees. Old apple varieties, such as "Freiherr von Berlepsch", are considered to be particularly rich in vitamins. About 100 milligrams of vitamin C are contained in 100 grams of fruit. Boskoop and Ontario are also vitamin-rich varieties.
Apple lovers have a free choice in this country: The trade offers a range of around 15 domestic apple varieties all year round, which leaves nothing to be desired in terms of taste, firmness, size and color. The number 1 in the ranking of the best-selling apples is traditionally the aromatic and juicy Elstar. On average, it accounts for around 20 percent of the total sales volume. The sweet and sour Braeburn took second place with a good 13 percent. This is followed by the fine-acidic Jonagold and Jonagored, the sweet gala and the sweet-aromatic Golden Delicious. This sextet accounts for around 50% of German production.
Apples in numbers
- Apples are number 1 in Germany in the ranking of the most popular fruit types.
Every German consumes on average about 9 kg of apples per year or - with a weight of 150 g per apple - 59 apples per year!
- Germany is one of the most important apple producers in Europe: around 1 million tons of the crunchy fruits are harvested here every year. However, due to the spring frosts in 2017, the German harvest was almost half (46%) lower last year.
- Apples are grown in Germany on an area of 34,000 hectares - this corresponds to almost all of Mallorca!
- The most important apple regions are on the Niederelbe, on Lake Constance, in the Rhineland and in Saxony.
- 83% of the apples were bought in the grocery store.
- On average, a household buys apples 14 times a year and takes 1.5 kg each with them.
- 87% of all households are apple buyers.
- Most apple lovers live in NRW. There, 21% of all apples are bought, followed by northwest Germany with 17.6% and the same level in Central Germany and Bavaria with 14.8%.
Since tastes are not only different, but are also subject to change, there are always new varieties in addition to the popular classics that meet the current taste preferences of consumers and combine the best properties of known apples. In addition to the brand new Rockit® snack apple, this also includes the Evelina®.
In Germany, apple orchards occupy the largest area of fruit growing. This type of large-scale cultivation was introduced by the Romans. It is believed that the apple originally comes from Asia and has been grown in Central Europe since around the 6th century. From the 16th century, the apple also gained economic importance. However, targeted breeding only started in the 19th century.
Apples: Delicious and healthy Apples contain over 30 different minerals and trace elements. These include iron and potassium, which regulate the water balance. Thanks to its numerous fruit acids, it is good for dental health. It also regulates bowel activity and contains important vitamins, which include vitamins B1, B2, B6, E and C, provitamin A as well as niacin and folic acid.
Another important ingredient is pectin, which on the one hand lowers cholesterol and on the other hand binds and flushes out harmful substances. Flavonoids and carotenoids are also found in apples. They are said to have an antioxidant effect in the body. They are also said to reduce the risk of cancer. So-called catechins are designed to prevent bronchial and lung diseases.
Irina Jordan-Berndt, specialist for general medicine and nutritional medicine, summarizes: “It is known that apples contain vitamin C. In addition, so-called secondary plant substances are found in the fruit, which are health-promoting for us humans. They strengthen the immune system, regulate the metabolism and fight bacteria. This makes them particularly valuable in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases and cancer. "
Up to 70 percent of an apple's vitamins are stored in and directly below its skin. If you peel an apple, you do without a large proportion of vitamins. In addition to vitamins, the shell also contains magnesium, iron, unsaturated fats and bioactive substances. Generally speaking, apples grown in the sun are richer in vitamins than those grown in the shade.
Apples as a remedy in naturopathy Apples have always been used as a home remedy for various diseases. For example, apples grated with the skin are effective against diarrhea. For sore throat and throat infections, a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar in combination with a tablespoon of honey in a glass of water can help. Hoarseness can be alleviated by eating a fried apple with honey. Pregnancy sickness can be avoided by eating an apple before getting up.
In case of sleep disorders, an apple should be consumed before going to sleep and if you are nervous, a homemade apple tea helps. To do this, an unpeeled apple is sliced and poured with a liter of boiling water. After two hours of brewing, the apple tea is ready. For clean and delicate skin, a peeled apple can be grated, mixed with a little honey and applied as a mask. After 20 minutes of exposure, the mask should be washed off again. (sb)