Orchard apple or Malus domestica has its origin in Western Asia. There, it is an extensively cultivated deciduous tree. It belongs to the family “Rosaceae”. Tree blossoms in between summer and winter. The fruit of this tree has been an important food for people of Europe and Asia for thousands of years. The growth and cultivation of this tree spread to North America. It is one of the oldest orchard trees and has been known for centuries. The tree is present, most probably, since the time of Alexander the great.
The tree has a medium height which ranges from 6 feet to 15 feet. The wild species of the tree may be more than 15 feet in height. It generally has simple oval leaves and white and pink flowers which can further develop into large and green, yellow or red coloured fruits called apples.
Apple is rich source of numerous phyto-nutrients such as flavonoids including quercetin, flavonols, and catechins, and phenolic group compounds including procyanidins and epicatechin.
Red apples contain glycoside called anthocyanin (cyanidin 3-O-galactoside).
Apples are profusely loaded with vitamin C, which is a well-known natural anti-oxidant and works against the free radicals along with enhancing the body’s immunity. Apples also have ample amount of vitamin B-complex which includes vitamin B6, riboflavin and thiamine. Vitamin B-complex keeps the nervous system and the red blood cells healthy.
Antioxidants present in apple which include epicatechin, quercetin, phlorizin, chlorogenic acid, and anthocyanins, gallic acid, procyanidins and many more. Beside these, it is rich in dietary fibre especially pectin, and phytonutrients or polyphenols, which protect the tissues from free radicals and other toxins. Apples are also a good source of natural minerals including calcium, phosphorus and potassium.
Apples are the richest source of flavonoids, a group of phytonutrients, especially quercetin that have high antioxidant status.
Benefits of Apple:
Since the nutrient content of apple makes it an exceptional fruit for improving over-all health, it finds its place in different Ayurvedic products.