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Health benefits of apple

  • Delicious and crunchy apple is one of the popular fruit that contain an impressive list of essential nutrients, which are required for normal growth and development and overall nutritional well-being.

  • Apples are low in calories; 100 g of fresh fruit slices provide only 50 calories. The fruits are however, contain no saturated fats or cholesterol; but rich in dietary fiber, which helps, prevent absorption of dietary LDL cholesterol in the gut. The dietary fibers also help protect the mucous membrane of the colon from exposure to toxic substances by binding to cancer causing chemicals in the colon.

  • Apple fruit contains good quantities of vitamin-C and beta-carotene. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Consumption of foods rich in vitamin C helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful, pro-inflammatory free radicals from the body.

  • Apples are rich in antioxidant phyto-nutrients flavonoids and polyphenols. The total measured anti-oxidant strength (ORAC value) of 100 g apple fruit is 5900 TE. The important flavonoids in apples are quercetin, epicatechin, and procyanidin B2. Apples are also good in tartaric acid that gives tart flavor to them. These compounds help body protect from deleterious effects of free radicals.

  • In addition, apple fruit is a good source of B-complex vitamins such as riboflavin, thiamin, and pyridoxine (vitamin B-6). Together these vitamins help as co-factors for enzymes in metabolism as well as in various synthetic functions inside the body.

  • Apple also contains small amount of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and calcium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure; thus counters the bad influences of sodium.

    See the table below for in depth analysis of nutrients:

    Apple fruit (Malus domestica), Fresh,
    Nutritive value per 100 g,
    ORAC value-5900
    (Source: USDA National Nutrient data base)
    Energy 50 Kcal 2.5%
    Carbohydrates 13.81 g 11%
    Protein 0.26 g 0.5%
    Total Fat 0.17 g 0.5%
    Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
    Dietary Fiber 2.40 g 6%

    Folates 3 µg 1%
    Niacin 0.091 mg 1%
    Pantothenic acid 0.061 mg 1%
    Pyridoxine 0.041 mg 3%
    Riboflavin 0.026 mg 2%
    Thiamin 0.017 mg 1%
    Vitamin A 54 IU 2%
    Vitamin C 4.6 mg 8%
    Vitamin E 0.18 mg 1%
    Vitamin K 2.2 µg 2%

    Sodium 1 mg 0%
    Potassium 107 mg 2%

    Calcium 6 mg 0.6%
    Iron 0.12 mg 1%
    Magnesium 5 mg 1%
    Phosphorus 11 mg 2%
    Zinc 0.04 mg 0%

    Carotene-ß 27 µg --
    Crypto-xanthin-ß 11 µg --
    Lutein-zeaxanthin 29 µg --

Selection and Storage

Fresh apples are readily available in the stores all around the season. Choose fresh, bright, firm textured apples with rich flavor. Avoid fruits with pressure marks over their surface as they indicate underlying mottled of pulp.

Fresh apples can be kept at room temperature for few days and stored in refrigerator for two to three weeks. Wash them in clean running cold water before use to remove any surface dust and pesticide/fungicide residues.

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