8 Apple Varieties and Their Characteristics
Apples are a very popular fruit. It’s a pome fruit, along with pears and quinces. There are different scales of sweetness, as well as apple varieties to suit all tastes.
Up to 7500 varieties with colors ranging from red, green, and yellow have been recognized. However, only a small number of them are commercially produced.
From a nutritional perspective, its health benefits are well-known, as it contains antioxidants, fiber, vitamins and minerals. In this article, we’ll explain in detail the advantages of eating apples and the varieties you can find.
Nutritional characteristics of the apple
Nutritionally, the values among all the apple varieties don’t change too much. What does vary is their acidity, shape, and color.
100 grams (4 oz) of apples, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), contain 48 kilocalories, 0.27 grams of protein, 0.13 grams of fat, and 12.8 grams of carbohydrates. They provide 2.7 grams of fiber and about 10 grams of sugars. Its high water content makes it juicy, as it has 86.7 grams (3.5 oz) of this liquid.
It’s a good source of potassium, as it contains 90 milligrams. It also has 11 milligrams of phosphorus and 4 milligrams of magnesium. Vitamin C has 4 milligrams, choline provides 3.4 milligrams, and vitamin A, 2 micrograms.
Benefits of apples
The benefits of apples are many. They range from their high antioxidant content to the fiber that contributes to intestinal health. Here we’ll explain.
1. Fiber content
Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber reduces the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive system.
The Northern California Department of Agriculture claims that eating an apple a day lowers bad cholesterol or LDL cholesterol by 8-11%. Having two apples a day lowers it by 16%.
In addition, fiber contributes to good intestinal health by softening the stools, thus reducing constipation. If there are watery stools, soluble fiber solidifies them, so it can also reduce diarrhea.
Read also: What Happens When We Eat Excess Fiber?
2. High content of antioxidants
This fruit has a high content of antioxidants, such as beta-carotene (17 micrograms). Also cryptoxanthin, with 13 micrograms. It has flavonoids such as catechin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2.
Antioxidants prevent the oxidation of cells. This means that they fight free radicals, which are substances produced by the body as waste. Free radicals are responsible for the process of oxidative stress, which is associated with aging.
3. Prevents cardiovascular disease
Research has shown a link between the consumption of flavonoids in apples and the reduction of cardiovascular and cerebrovascular disease. One of the reasons that apples are able to achieve this effect is that they limit cholesterol levels. In studies on mice it was found that eating apples can reduce the accumulation of fat in the arteries of the heart.
Although there are countless apple varieties, here we’ll describe the most popular commercial ones that you have surely seen in your local shop.
1. Fuji apple
This apple originates from the city of Fujisaki. It’s a mixture of Red Delicious and Ralls Janet. Among its characteristics is its roundness, smooth red color, crunchiness, firm flesh, juiciness, sweetness, and aroma. Its acidity is minimal.
2. Royal Gala
This variety originates from New Zealand. It’s deep red with variations from yellow to orange. Its shape is rounded with a medium to small size. It’s sweet with a touch of acidity, aromatic, and with a juicy, white, and creamy flesh.
This apple has its origins in Minnesota (United States). It’s a crunchy fruit, with a color somewhere between bright red and pale green. It’s sweet, with a slight touch of acidity.
4. Granny Smith
The Granny Smith apple is a hybrid apple, the result of a mixture of two species. It appeared in Australia in 1868, after grandmother Mary Ann Smith Sherwood created the first graft.
It has a deep green tone, although it can be pink. They are round, juicy white flesh, tart, and crisp. Its aroma is delicate.
Read also: Heart Health: Oats and Apples
5. Red Delicious
This is a red-skinned apple of medium sweetness. It’s aromatic with a juicy flesh.
6. Golden Delicious
This is a very sweet apple with a firm white flesh. The skin is smooth and thin. In fact, it rarely needs to be peeled.
The Empire apple is also native to the United States. It has a mild flavor with a slight acidity. It’s one of the hardest textured varieties, and is very juicy.
This is the apple of choice for making apple cider because of its spicy flavor. Its texture is usually soft, purplish-red, and with a size ranging from medium to small.
Choose any variety of apple and enjoy its benefits
It’s recommended to eat two apples a day. If you eat more, there’s a risk of weight gain and increased blood sugar.
Go to your neighborhood market and find out which varieties of apples are sold there. We’ve told you the most common ones, but you may even find others and you can get to know which ones you like the best.