NUTRITION CORNER: Health benefits that apple provides to our body

Apple, scientifically called Malus sylvetris, provides a lot of health and nutritional benefits to the body.  A medium-sized 138-gram apple contains about 81 calories, zero fat and cholesterol, 10 percent carbohydrate, and more than 80 percent water.

According to a research from Cornell University, a combination of the plant chemicals called flavonoids and polyphenols, collectively known as phytochemicals, provide the fruit’s antioxidant and anticancer benefits. In addition, the apple’s skin contains a small amount of beta-carotene and 4 milligrams of quercetin–an antioxidant compound that prevents oxygen molecules from damaging cells that can lead to cancer and other diseases.

The apple’s skin has insoluble fiber, which is a great help for constipation. It also helps prevent diverticulosis, a condition where small pouches form on the colon and become inflamed or infected. It also has soluble fiber, which is the pectin that can help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart diseases. This soluble fiber slows digestion and the rise of blood sugar, which makes it good food choice for diabetes patients.

About 4 percent of an apple is made up of vitamins and minerals. The flesh provides some iron and potassium.  Like other fruits, apple contains vitamin C (8 milligrams/medium size).  (Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa, PhD Assistant Scientist, FNRI)