Happy Johnny Appleseed Day!

So it’s a little late coming at the end of the day, but today is Johnny Appleseed Day!  I celebrated by buying 1/2 a peck of gala apples and some apple cider…well ok it just happened to be a coincidence that I went grocery shopping and bought those things today.  I also bought the new Food Network Magazine, which includes 30 days of Pumpkin :).  But upon hearing that today is Johnny Appleseed Day gave me the idea to share some information about apples.

Did you know apples actually help to regulate blood sugar?
The flavonoids in apples inhibit enzymes that breakdown complex carbohydrates to simple sugars.  The polyphenols have been shown to decrease absorption of glucose from the digestive tract, and also stimulate insulin secretion and insulin receptors (source).  What does that mean exactly?  It means that incorporating apples into your diet helps to keep your blood sugar stable.  If your blood sugar is not stable it tends to spike and fall.  When your blood sugar spikes your energy goes up rapidly.  It then falls rapidly, leading to a crash, that “3 o’clock feeling”.  Stabilizing your blood sugar helps to prevent this from happening.

Here’s some more interesting apple facts from the University of Illinois:

  • The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
  • Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch.
  • 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
  • A medium apple is about 80 calories.
  • Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
  • The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.
  • Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds. The number of seeds per carpel is determined by the vigor and health of the plant. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds.
  • Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.
  • A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds.
  • A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • The old saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” This saying comes from an old English adage, “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”
  • Don’t peel your apple. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.

Check out some tasty, healthy apple recipes from some of my favorite sites: