It's National Apple Day tomorrow (21st October 2022)
Red apples on apple tree branch
Thoreau called it “surely the noblest of fruits”; it has been prized the world over for thousands of years; it inspired scientific thought for Isaac Newton; was ,crucially, irresistible in the story of Adam and Eve; became a symbol of political and individual freedom after William Tell shot it off his son’s head; has been sung or written about by everyone from Glen Miller to Robbie Williams, and Martin Luther King to Che Guevera; its blossoms adorn gardens and orchards the world over; and it bears a superfruit with a vast breadth of flavour, texture and colour, and possibly unparalleled versatility in the kitchen. What is it? The not so humble apple.
Malus domestica, the common apple tree, is possibly more widely planted by gardeners than any other tree in the UK. It grows in most soils, bog and chalk being the main exceptions, and crops well at altitudes up to 600-800 feet (and higher, depending on position). There are also varieties that do well in the most severe frost pockets. They can be grown as stand alone bushes and trees, potted mini patio trees, or kept as short as 30-40 cms tall (stepovers) and less than 40 cms wide (cordons), so there is a variety for practically every garden. It is no wonder they are so popular.
Why You Should Eat An Apple a DayNot only are apples delicious, but recent scientific research has further underpinned the old belief that there are benefits of eating apples every day. A year-long randomised control trial carried out at Florida State University on 160 middle aged women showed that over a year, eating apples every day, a large number saw a reduction in bad cholesterol and, despite the extra calories, also lost weight. A recent trial at the Institute of Nutrition Research at Edith Cowan University in Western Australia showed that eating apples with skin on helped reduce blood pressure and improve heart health and could even be linked to a longer life.
How is this possible?Apples and their skins are a great source of vitamins (C and E) and minerals (potassium) and fibre. Their skin is packed with chemical compounds called flavonoids - antioxidants which can help reduce blood pressure, and maintain blood vessel health. Daily consumption has been shown to help reduce cholesterol. The great news is that flavonoids survive cooking.
Apple skins are also rich in compounds called triterpenoids which have antiinflammatory properties and have even been shown to help fight cancer in human cells in laboratory studies.
Lastly, apple skins contain prebiotics, a type of fibre that feeds the good bacteria in your gut and can also help reduce inflammation and reduce blood pressure.Apples really are a superfood and the more they are researched the more their beneficial properties are being understood.
So plant an apple tree (take a look at our fruit tree planting video), relish picking your very own apples and make an apple one of your five a day!
At Ashridge we sell a huge variety of apple trees, potted and bareroot. Look at our selection of over 100 apple trees including eaters, cookers, juicers and cider apples. We explain pollination and make it easy to select anything from a single self fertile tree to a collection for an orchard, with helpful information, videos and blogs on how to plant, grow and care for your apple trees. Some Ashridge top picks for eating apples are: Early cropping Beauty of Bath for its crunchy texture and sharp apple sherbet flavour; Fiesta for a smoother, softer and sweeter bite and good storing quality; and easy growing, resilient Sunset from Kent, with its prolific, sweet tasting red and gold flushed crop.
Allow yourself to be tempted by an apple - you won't be the first!
Ashridge - selling you quality trees since 1949.
Homemade toffee apples