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Heard the phrase, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away?” Curious about where it came from? The credit goes to Wales (though it’s known as an English adage). The original proverb, printed in 1866, goes: “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” With winter here and it being apple season, I thought about, “What does the apple nutritionally give us and our kids?” So I did some research for you (and for me) about nutritional facts, fun facts and the history of the apple.  

10 Core Facts about Apples
Apples are a very good fruit for building strong and healthy bodies. A medium-sized apple is:

  1. Fat-free: May help reduce the risk of some types of cancers
  2. Saturated-fat free
  3. Sodium-free: May help reduce the risk of high blood pressure
  4. Contains natural sugars called fructose
  5. Has only 80 calories: Helps you maintain a healthy weight.
  6. Cholesterol-free: Helps keep your heart healthy and may help protect against cardiovascular disease.
  7. Contains no artificial colors or flavors
  8. An excellent source of fiber and Vitamin C: Helps reduce blood cholesterol, and aids digestion. They also contain potassium, antioxidants, iron, calcium and Vitamin A. One apple has five grams of fiber.
  9. A handy, satisfying snack: You can take one with you anywhere.
  10. An easy way to get your recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables daily!
  11. A medium apple is about 80 calories.

Did you know?…Apple Facts:

  • To make a traditional 9-inch apple pie, you’ll need 2 pounds of apples.
  • Worldwide, a remarkable 7,500 varieties of apples are grown.
  • In the United States, a hearty 2,500 varieties can be found; though only 100 are grown for commercial purposes. The only apple native to North America is the Crabapple.
  • Out of the 100 apple varieties grown, 15 comprise 90% of total production: Red Delicious, Gala, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji lead the way.
  • An average of 65 apples per person are consumed in America each year. 


  • Apple trees can grow up to 40 feet high; though many orchards have dwarf trees for easier picking.
  • The first apple nursery opened in 1730; the location was Flushing, New York.
  • A peck of apples is 1/4 a bushel and weighs approximately 10.5 pounds.
  • A bushel weighs 42 pounds.
  • A bushel of apples can produce 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
  • At room temperature, an apple will ripen 6-10 times faster than in the refrigerator.
  • The state fruit of New York is the apple
  • The state flower of Michigan is the apple blossom
  • Apples can be as small as a cherry or as large as a grapefruit
  • Apple trees don’t grow from seeds — they are grafted or budded
  • Apple trees can live to be 100 years old
  • Most apples have only five seeds, but some may have as many as 10 and others may have no seeds at all
  • Sixty-one percent of apples are eaten fresh and 39 percent are processed into juice and sauce
  • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows.
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • The science of apple growing is called pomology.
  • 25 percent of an apple’s volume is air. That is why they float.
  • The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.

Apple History
Originating somewhere between the Caspian and Black Seas, apples today are grown all over the world — from China to Italy to the United States. As long as 3,000 years ago, apples were playing an important part in people’s lives.

Folklore has it that an ancient Greek who wanted to propose to a woman would only have to toss her an apple. If she caught it, he knew she had accepted his offer. And newlyweds in the 7th century B.C. shared an apple as a symbol of a fruitful union.

European settlers to America brought with them their favorite fruits, which were much favored over the native crab apple. The colonists used apples to eat and also to make into apple cider, apple vinegar and hard cider. As the early colonists explored the frontier and moved from the eastern United States to the west, so did the apple. Now the apple is grown commercially in 36 states.

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