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Apples are good, and good for you

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Fall’s arrival is a good thing for lots of us as it means apple season is here once again.

Apples are not only delicious, but also one of the healthiest foods we can eat.

Information contained in a Sept. 27 Farmer’s Almanac article extols health benefits that help strengthen the adage of “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Although all claims cannot be confirmed, the article said research suggests apples benefit the brain, liver and bowels, help regulate the digestive system, aid in the cure and prevention of constipation and can relieve flatulence and diarrhea.

Sounds good to me so far.

Further, apples are said to contain malic and tartaric acids that help neutralize the effects of rich, fatty foods and assist in other foods’ digestion.

The apple is also good for the teeth, and it’s believed unsweetened apple cider can prevent gout and rheumatism.

Eating an apple along with a teaspoon of honey and a cup of milk is recommended in the treatment for loss of memory and mental irritability.

The story of apples, however, does not start and stop solely with this fruit’s health benefits.

Apples — and the word “apple” — are heavily ingrained in our world more than you might realize.

Apples can be consumed and enjoyed in lots of ways including directly from the tree, while on the way home from the market, in applesauce, apple pie, apple butter, apple brown betty, apple cobbler, apple crisp, apple fritters, apple strudel, apple crumb cake, baked apple and stewed apples.

Also, we have apple cider, apple brandy, apple wine, applejacks, apple turnovers, apple newtons, apple jelly, spiced apple rings, Waldorf salad, apple in the mouth of a pig barbecued over hot coals and candy apples or caramel apples at fairs and carnivals.

Songs with apple in the title include “Apples, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie” by Jay & the Techniques from 1967 and “One Bad Apple Don’t Spoil the Whole Bunch” by The Osmonds from 1972 while “The Apple Dumpling Gang” was a 1975 movie starring Tim Conway and Don Knotts.

Some fans may recall from the “Man in a Hurry” episode on TV’s “The Andy Griffith Show” that a minor subplot had Sheriff Andy Taylor peeling an apple with a knife in one long, continuous section without the peeling ever breaking apart.

John Chapman, aka Johnny Appleseed, was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to the central United States in the 1800s.

Presenting an apple as a gift to one’s schoolteacher has always been a harmless yet effective method of childhood bribery.

Legend has it that Isaac Newton, while sitting under an apple tree as a boy in 17th-century England, was hit on the head by a falling apple, inspiring him to develop his law of gravity. Newton was later to gain fame as a scientist, mathematician, physicist and astronomer.

William Tell was a Swiss folk hero who shot an apple off his son’s head using a crossbow.

Among the most common apple sayings, references or idioms, mostly according to Google, are “American as apple pie,” “Don’t upset the apple cart,” meaning don’t spoil plans that have already been made, “the apple of one’s eye,” referring to something or someone cherished above all others like a favorite grandchild, “rotten apple,” meaning one whose words or actions negatively affect an entire group, and “the apple never falls far from the tree,” a phrase referring to children who display qualities or talents similar to those of their parents.

The Big Apple is the nickname for New York City that was first used during the 1920s and still applies today.

Apple Inc. is a large U.S. computer technology company that deals in consumer electronics and computer software.

National Apple Day falls on Oct. 21 each year while the North Carolina Apple Festival has been held for more than 60 years during Labor Day weekend in Hendersonville.

Apple Valley is a California city of 70,000 while Apple Creek, Ohio and Apple Creek, Missouri are smaller villages and the Apple River flows through Wisconsin.

According to the U.S. Apple Association website, the most popular apple varieties grown in the U.S. are, in no certain order, McIntosh Red, Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Fuji, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, Winesap and Braeburn.

An obscure and final apple reference involves Crabby Appleton, the evil character known to be “rotten to the core” in the Tom Terrific cartoon segment who, along with his sidekick, Mighty Manfred the Wonder Dog, was part of Captain Kangaroo’s morning TV show from the 1950s.

Keith Barnes is a reporter for the Johnstonian News. Email him at