Archives for: October 2002, 11
According to Dr. D'Adamo's LECster® database, it is a lectin issue: index Malus officinalis (LECp.Mal.Off.xx.Xxxx) lectin. That's the short answer. The long answer appears somewhat more complicated. On the one hand, they are rather high in sugar content: some varieties being MUCH higher than others (Granny Smith, for instance, is hard and tart ~ what we used to call a "pie apple"). They also have a reputation for alkalinizing the stomach environment (according to Grieve, A Modern Herbal. Penguin 1984 (written in the 30s)(ISBN 0-14-046-440-9) and others) -- not the thing for O nonsecretors. They do not provide significant amounts of Vitamin A or C in comparison to other fruits, nor can they wow us with their proanthrocyanadins as do blueberries, black cherries, elderberries and dark plums. And that lectin is resistant even to autoclaving (extremely high heat and pressure)... it just keeps on keeping on. Apples do have one thing going for them: pectin, which is rumored to be effective against some cancers, and protective against radiation ailments.
To my knowledge, the apples we buy at the grocery or farm are known as Malus sylvestris, or Malus domesticus. The many common varieties such as Red Delicious, Fuji, Macintosh, Pippin and so forth, are known as "cultivars."
Apples offer little aside from their beauty, their wondrous flavor, their pre-eminence as pie fruit, cider source, and fancy lemonade ingredient, as well as ample pectin (aside from its potential health benefits, Mom used it for jam-making, and laboratories employ it as a culture medium). I still tend to think of the O nonsecretor apple rating as a topic for further research! but even if that's just wishful thinking on my part, feel free to send your apple findings my way. I haven't given up hope yet!