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Is there truth in the saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away? What makes an apple good for our health?

Apple, malus sylvetris in scientific name, provides a lot of health and nutritional benefits to our body. A medium-sized apple weighing 138 grams contains about 81 calories, zero fat and cholesterol, 10 percent carbohydrate and more than 80 percent of water.

According to a research from Cornell University, a combination of the plant chemicals- flavonoids and polyphenols, collectively known as phytochemicals, provide the fruit’s antioxidant and anticancer benefits. In addition, the skin of an apple contains a small amount of beta-carotene and 4 milligrams of quercetin, an antioxidant compound preventing oxygen molecules from damaging an individual’s 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 a soluble fiber, which is the pectin that can help lower cholesterol as well as the risk of heart diseases. This soluble fiber can also slow the digestion and the rise of blood sugar, making it good 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).

Though apples give a lot of benefits, can these be the reasons to say bye-bye to a doctor and hello to apple? Definitely, no!

According to the 2012 Nutritional Guidelines for Filipinos developed by the Technical Working Group headed by the Department of Science and Technology’s Food and Nutrition Research Institute (DOST-FNRI), one should eat more vegetables and fruits. Consume two to three servings of vegetables each day, of which a serving is equivalent to ½ cup or 40 grams for non-leafy and 1 cup or 25 grams for leafy. Take two servings of fruit daily, of which serving ranges from 45 to 300 grams depending on the size and variety of fruit. The consumption of these foods everyday is encouraged to get the essential vitamins, minerals and fiber for regulation of body processes.

For more information on food and nutrition, contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, General Santos Avenue, Bicutan, Taguig City; Telephone/ Fax Nos: 837-2934 or 837-3164; Direct Line:839-1839; DOST Trunk Line: 837-2071-82 local 2296 or 2284; e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; FNRI-DOST website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph. Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/FNRI.DOST or follow our Twitter account at twitter.com/FNRI_DOST. (DOST-FNRI S&T Media Service: Press Release – IMELDA ANGELES-AGDEPPA, Ph.D., Assistant Scientist)

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