The legendary ‘miracle food that keeps the doctor away,” apple is an excellent everyday snack item. High in Fiber and Vitamin-C, low in sodium content, rich in antioxidants, and with no fat and cholesterol, this juicy fruit provides an array of health benefits. Indeed, apple is one of the most popular fruits all over the world.
Apples date back to the time when humans were evolving. New DNA studies reveal that the first apple trees began to grow wild in Central Asia around ten to twenty million years ago. Research finds that the primary ancestor of the domesticated apple was the ancient tree, Malus sieversii.
Malus sieversii is native to the Tian Shah Mountains of Kazakhstan, where they have existed for millions of years. The original apples started budding in apple forests, near the foot of these mountains and started spreading over miles from there.
These wild apple forests were found in Almata, the second largest city of Kazakhstan, that claimed its title as the place of birth of the apple.
Where do Apples Grow?
Apples can grow in zone 3 to zone 9. They require cold winters, moderate summers, and medium to high humidity. They are not suited to grow near the ocean, where temperatures remain moderate all through the year. Apples need plenty of sunlight to produce the best results.
Top 3 Apple Growing Countries
The top producer of apples, China, generates an average of 44 million tons of apples yearly.
2. United States
The second highest producer of apples churns out an average of 4.6 million tonnes yearly.
The third highest producer of apples produces approximately 3.0 million tonnes annually.
Varieties of Apples
There are around a whopping 7500 varieties of apples grown throughout the world. The most popular types of apples include Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Gala, McIntosh, Baldwin, Honey Crisp and Fuji.
Uses of Apples
Apart from being consumed in its natural state, apples have a plethora of other uses.
Apples are a popular ingredient in baked goods and pastries. The all-american apple pie is one of the most popular and loved desserts in America. Apples are also used to make apple cakes, apple bread, apple sauce, apple cider, and apple vinegar. Apple juice is a popular lunch box item.
Nutritional Benefits of Apples
Apples are low in calories and free of fat, sodium and cholesterol. They are rich in fiber, disease-fighting anti-oxidants and a variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, folate, niacin and vitamins A, B, C, E and K.