Nutritional Makeup of the Apple
We know that the food pyramid tells us to get a certain number of servings of fruits and vegetables a day. But, all fruits are not created equal. They may all have a benefit for our health but not necessarily the same benefits. What’s inside of these foods determines how they will impact our health.
Let’s take the apple for instance. Apples make a good overall showing in the healthy fruit category. They are small enough to carry along with you wherever you go and don’t bruise as easily as other fruits with softer flesh. Apples come in several varieties that have been bred for certain features.
They sound like champion racehorses, but really they are the champions of the fruit world. If you look a bit closer, you’ll see that that crisp, white flesh is hiding a fat attacker—fiber. Insoluble fiber is not absorbed by the body but removed. As it passes through our digestive system, it binds to fat molecules and takes them out with it.
Apples also contain plenty of vitamin C. it plays an important role in our body. Vitamin C is needed for essential brain functions and to maintain the structure of blood vessels and bones in the body. The majority of our daily dose can come from eating an apple or two. With the incidents of osteoporosis in older women, consuming a healthy amount of vitamin C can prevent this condition from happening to you.
Apples also contain antioxidants. Vitamin C is an antioxidant but they also contain some that are unique to apples. One is phloridzin. Researchers have found that this antioxidant called a flavonoid helps to reduce bone loss in women going through menopause.
Pectin found in apples works to reduce the amount of bad cholesterol in the blood. Bad cholesterol (LDL cholesterol) increases the chance of plaque formations in the vessels. This can lead to heart attacks or strokes. In combination with antioxidants, the amount of LDL is reduced and the vessels maintain their elasticity and prevent the clumping of platelets.
Quercetin is another antioxidant compound found in apples. Researchers believe that it functions to prevent certain diseases and cancers along with limiting the damage caused by free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause all sorts of problems as we age and antioxidants work to stop that damage and restore our bodies to a healthy state.
Apples contain no cholesterol, no fat, and very little sodium. They are low in calories and high in fiber. When choosing a snack or a healthy addition to recipes, look no further than the apple orchard.