From the poisoned apple in Snow White to the black apple of Tibet, this is a fruit that seems to ooze folklore. Here are a few things I found out about apples in this week’s browse of the internet.
- Had it not been for the bubonic plague Isaac Newton may never have formulated his theory of gravity, according to Dr. Joe Schwarcz in his book Monkeys, Myths and Molecules. In 1665 this terrible disease struck England and forced many institutions to close, including Cambridge University where Newton was studying. Newton was sent home to Lincolnshire where he whiled away the time sitting in his garden where he noticed the apple falling down – not up or sideways. This observation led him to conclude that the same physical laws that governed the falling apple also applied to everything else in the universe. If it hadn’t been for the plague, Newton’s mind may never have been set in motion by the falling apple.
- Where would you find the most famous apple tree in history? If you said The Garden of Eden you would be wrong. The tree is described as “the tree of knowledge of good and evil”, but its fruit is not named. The Latin word “malum” means both “evil” and “apple” which may have led to the confusion.
- Lately science has been learning more about the benefits of eating apples with the peel on. Apple peel is very rich in polyphenols – compounds that offer significant health benefits. Some studies suggest that polyphenols may alter gene expression and others that they modify bacterial flora in our gut.
- Since Hippocrates’ time apples have long been associated with good health. The worlds first medical school established in the 9th century in Salerno, Italy, taught that they were good for disturbances of the bowel, lungs and nervous system. In 1886 a Welsh magazine quoted the proverb “eat an apple when going to bed and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread”. This was eventually shortened to the often repeated “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”.
This, of course, is wishful thinking. No single food can work on its own to support our health. It takes a rainbow of fruits and vegetables all working together and, for most of us, this is hard to do. Here’s a simple supplement that can help. Check it out here.