Saturday, October 5, 2013

An Apple - Just the Facts, Ma'm

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away."  

We've all heard that old adage throughout our lives.  Of course, it means apples will help you retain your health so that you don't need a doctor.  But do apples do this?  And how?

I have to admit that I never before looked up the nutritional info on apples.  I've known that the skin offers a good source of fiber, and as a fresh fruit, it must offer some healthful vitamins... but that's about all I could tell you for certain.

So, if you're like me, and really know little about apples, and why you might want to grab one or include them in your kids' lunches, here is a little more to back up that decision *(for source, see image & caption below):

*My source.  I was introduced to this book in college.
When my college text fell apart from use,
I just had to get myself another.
Bowes and Church's
Food Values of Portions Commonly Used
1 medium apple (138 grams) offers:

81 calories
0.5 grams fat
0 grams cholesterol
1 mg sodium
0.3 grams protein
21 grams carbohydrates... 3.7 grams of that is fiber (eat the skin!) and 18.4 grams are sugar

According to the USDA, quoted here, apples provide
10% of an adult's daily requirement of Vitamin C
1-3 % of an adult's daily requirement each of some B vitamins, Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Iron, and Calcium

So although apples don't offer many vitamins and minerals in appreciable amounts, the Vitamin C level is helpful.  Vitamin C supports the immune system, which should help keep those doctor visits to a minimum. 

Most of the fiber is in the skin, but as long as you eat that, it meets 12% of the daily recommended amount of fiber. (Wash it good, of course, since the skin is where any contaminants may be, also) Fiber is good for colon health, and also benefits weight control, energy levels, and heart health, according to WebMD.

Since over 90% of the calories in an apple are in carbohydrates, and mostly sugar, at that, it is advisable to have some protein and fat when you eat your apple for a snack or meal... Maybe nuts or nut butter, a piece of cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt (not too sweet), meat, poultry, or eggs.  

My kids don't feel their lunches are complete without an apple.  They are old enough now to care about what's healthy and to give up old previous desired treats, like chips and cookies.  They are glad to be able to keep their apples.

31 Days at The Nesting Place

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