Apple A Day- Keeps The Doctor Away
Written by Dr. R. D. Gupta & Dr. Ravi Kher   

Apple (Malus sylvestris) is one of the most valuable of all fruits. It is a fleshy with tough skin, ranging in colour from greenish-yellow to red and usually 8-10 cm in diameter, and has pinkish or yellow-white flesh. The apple is considered “protective” and most wholesome food. Apart from the energy value, it plays an important role in the normal development of metabolic changes i.e. both physical and chemical those occurs within the body and enables its continued growth and functioning.

Its mentioning has been made both in the annals of old China and Egypt, and the Bible. The Scandinavians have called it the “Food of Gods” and believed that apple fruit had lot of medicinal values to regenerate both mind and body of the human beings.
In India, apple is mostly grown in the Valley of Kashmir (Jammu and Kashmir State) as well as in parts of Jammu region like Bhaderwah and Bani areas of Kathua district. It is also grown in different parts of Himachal Pradesh such as Kulu, Kotkhai of Shimla vis-a-vis parts of Solan and Sirmour districts. In Uttaranchal, the apple is grown mostly in he Kumaon area.
The apple fruit is a highly nutritive food. It is rich source of minerals and vitamins. Apple fruit is a carbohydrate rich food. Its sugar content is about 9.5 per cent. Of this, fruit sugar constitutes about 60 per cent, glucose nearly 25 per cent and cane sugar or sucrose about 15 per cent. Food value of 100 g edible potion of the apple fruit is as follows:
The acid content generally increases with sugar content and is mostly dominated by malic acid which is completely used by the body.
The skin of the apple should not be discarded when taken raw as the skin and the flesh below it contains more vitamin C than the inner flesh. The skin also possesses five times more vitamin A than the flesh. However, these days it is apprehended that the apple skin is toxic due to the presence of pesticides and chemicals, which are sprayed to save the fruits from the assaults of various diseases and insects. To save from this contamination, the apple fruit must be washed twice or thrice with cold water and once with warm water.
Apple is invaluable in the maintenance of good health and in the treatment of many ailments. The active principle of apple is pectin, natural therapeutic ingredient found in the upper part and the pulp. Pectin aids in detoxification by supplying the “glacturonic acid” needed for the elimination of certain harmful substances. It also helps to prevent decomposition of protein matter in the alimentary canal. The malic acid content in the apple is beneficial to liver, bowel and brain.
Precaution: As apple has cooling effect so its direct consumption may cause gastric trouble. However, its effect can be pacified when its use is made after sprinkling small amount of black pepper powder and black salt (saunchal namak). Prior to consuming the apples, these must be washed thoroughly. It would help in removing the poisoning chemicals (pesticides) which are sprayed to prevent insects and diseases.

1. Ex-Chief Scientist KVK-cum-Associate Dean;
2. Head, Division of Pomology,