Apples

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old Welsh proverb that most of us are familiar with, but what makes this fruit so special? What health benefits are associated with eating apples?

As one of the most cultivated and consumed fruits in the world, apples are continuously being praised as a “miracle food”.

In fact, apples were ranked first in Medical News Today’s featured article about the top 10 healthy foods.

Apples are extremely rich in important antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber.

The phytonutrients and antioxidants in apples may help reduce the risk of developing cancer, hypertension, diabetes, andheart disease.

This article provides a nutritional profile of the fruit and its possible health benefits. It also discusses the possible risks and precautions and some frequently asked questions.

Nutritional profile of apples

Apples contain almost no fat, sodium or cholesterol.

Apples deserve to be called “nutritional powerhouses”. They contain the following important nutrients:

  • VitaminC – a powerful natural antioxidant capable of blocking some of the damage caused by free radicals, as well as boosting the body’s resistance against infectious agents, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
  • B-complex vitamins (riboflavin, thiamin, and vitamin B-6) – these vitamins are key in maintaining red blood cells and the nervous system in good health.
  • Dietary fiber – the BritishNational Health Service says that a diet high in fiber can help prevent the development of certain diseases and may help prevent the amount of bad cholesterol in your blood from rising.
  • Phytonutrients – apples are rich in polyphenolic compounds”.These phytonutrients help protect the body from the detrimental effects of free radicals.
  • Minerals such ascalciumpotassium, and phosphorus.

Apples, with skin (edible parts) nutritional value per 100 grams

Energy – 52 kcal Carbohydrates – 13.81 g
Fat – 0.17 g Protein – 0.26 g
Water – 85.56 g Sodium – 1 mg
Beta-carotene – 27 μg Lutein and zeaxanthin – 29 μg
Thiamin (vitamin B1) – 0.017 mg Vitamin A equiv – 3 μg
Riboflavin (vitamin B2) – 0.026 mg Niacin (vitamin B3) – 0.091 mg
Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) – 0.061 mg Vitamin B6 – 0.041 mg
Folate (vitamin B9) – 3 μg Vitamin C – 4.6 mg
Vitamin E – 0.18 mg Vitamin K – 2.2 μg
Calcium – 6 mg Iron – 0.12 mg
Magnesium – 5 mg Manganese – 0.035 mg
Phosphorus – 11 mg Potassium – 107 mg

Note: the average size of an apple is 150 grams

Risks and precautions

No serious side effects are linked to apple consumption.

Apple seeds contain contain cyanide, a powerful poison. Eating too many apple seeds can potentially be fatal. Apple seeds should not be consumed.

In addition, because apples are fairly acidic, they could be up to four times more damaging to teeth than carbonated drinks,according to a study led by Professor David Bartlett at the King’s Dental Institute.

Professor Bartlett said that “snacking on acidic foods throughout the day is the most damaging, whilst eating them at meal times is much safer. It’s not what you eat it’s how you eat it – an apple a day is good, but taking all day to eat the apple can damage teeth.”

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