Health Benefits Of Fruit Consumption

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Current dietary guidelines recommend the inclusion in the daily diet of several servings of fruit due to their relatively low caloric value and negligible sodium, cholesterol, and fat (with the exception of almonds, which provide approximately 80 percent of energy as fat) (USDA, 2000). More important, the variety and combination of nutrients in fruit and vegetables are thought to have potential health

TABLE N2.1. Nutritional compositions of temperate tree fruit (in mg/100 g edible portion)

Fruit

Latin name

Water

Energy (kcal)

Protein

Total lipid

Carbohydrate

Total dietary fiber

Ash

Almond

Prunus amygdalus

5.3

578

21.3

50.6

19.7

11.8

3.11

Apple

Malus domestica

84.0

59

0.2

0.4

15.3

2.7

0.26

Apricot

Prunus armeniaca

86.4

48

1.4

0.4

11.1

2.4

0.75

Cherry, sour

Prunus cerasus

86.1

50

1.0

0.3

12.2

1.6

0.40

Cherry, sweet

Prunus avium

80.8

72

1.2

1.0

16.6

2.3

0.53

Fig

Ficus carica

79.1

74

0.8

0.3

19.2

3.3

0.66

Mulberry

Morus nigra

87.9

43

1.4

0.4

9.8

1.7

0.69

Nectarine

Prunus pérsica

86.3

49

0.9

0.5

11.8

1.6

0.54

Papaw

Asimina triloba

(89.3)

(29)

(0.4)

(0.1)

(6.9)

(2.3)

n.a*

Peach

Prunus pérsica

87.7

43

0.7

0.1

11.1

2.0

0.46

Pear

Pyrus communis

83.8

59

0.4

0.4

15.1

2.4

0.28

Persimmon

Diospyros kaki

80.3

70

0.6

0.2

18.6

3.6

0.33

Plum

Prunus domestica

85.2

55

0.8

0.6

13.0

1.5

0.39

Quince

Cydonia oblonga

83.8

57

0.4

0.1

15.3

1.9

0.40

Primary source: USDA reference tables (USDA, 2001). Source for values in parentheses: Wills (compiler), 1987, Food Technol. Austral. 39:523-526. *n.a. = not available.

TABLE N2.2. Select minerals, vitamins, and phenols in temperate tree fruit (in mg/100 g edible portion unless otherwise indicated)

MINERALS

VITAMINS

PHENOLS

Potassium

Ascorbic Acid

Tocopherol

Vitamin A (RE)*

Caroten-oids

Total Phenols

Flavanols

Flavonols

Anthocyanlns

Almond

728

0

26.18

1

detected

detected

Apple

115

5.7

0.32

5

229-350 [10]

19.3-43.0 [101

47.4-122.0 [4, peel]

11.8-32.4 [101

7.0-17.8

110-600 [15,

15.3-56.8 [4,

2.64-7.39 [41

n.d.-104f [4]

cider apples]

pulpl

230 [puree]"

67-232.9

9.8-42.9 [41

Apricot

296

10

0.89

261

6.23

0.5

9.5-43.8* [9]

detected

0.5-14.0 [9]

4.7-108.9* [9/

Cherry, sour

173

10

0.13

128

12.03***

7.52-23.59

-90 mg/100 ml juice

Cherry, sweet

224

7

0.13

21

3.1-14.6

82-297 [dark cherries]

2-41 [light cherries]

Rg

232

2

0.89

14

1090-1110

0.15

Mulberry

194

36.4 10

0.45

2.5

0.01

1-10

Nectarine

212

5.4

0.89

74

0.06

70-150

Papaw

140

60

0.91

Peach

197

6.6

0.7

54

0.15

19.6-29.0 [4]

8.62

0-1.2 [81

0-1.78 [8]

29-125 [10]

5.36-18.7 [81

46.7-80.1 [81

68.8-92.0

Pear

125

4

0.5

2

0.01

41.4-56.1 [4]

2.1-2.17/2/

21-123.9 [5, peel,

18.5-60.2

none detected in

1.5-7.1

pulp]

13.0 [puree f"

Persimmon

161

7.5

0.59

217

1.5-2.2

3970

1.27

75-77

Plum

172

9.5

0.6

32

0.12

26.2-92.2

49.65

14-20

177 [skin]

TABLE N2.2 (continued)

Quince

0.05

mercial jams] [commercial jams]

not established not established not established

Recom- 2400 mg/d mended intake for adults over

75-90 mg/d

15 mg/d 700-900 further not ixg/dayi research established needed

Sources: Vitamin and mineral data are mostly from USDA reference tables (USDA, 2001); values in bold are from other literature sources and are provided if no USDA data are available or if considerably different values were noted. Phenol data are from various sources (see the following source list). When available, numbers of cultivars analyzed are shown in brackets. Sources in addition to USDA: Almond— Almond Board of California, preliminary data. Apple—Price et al., 1999, Food Chem. 66:489-494; de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. FoodChem. 48:5331 -5337; Podsedek et al., 2000, Eur. Food Res. Technoi. 210:268-272; Escarpa and González, 2001, J. Chromatogr. A. 823:331 -337. Apricot—Radi et al., 1997, HortSci. 32:1087-1091; de Rigal et al., 2000, J. Sci. Food Agrie. 80:763-768; de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 48:5331-5337. Cherry—Wang et al., 1997, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 45:2556-2560; Wang et al., 1999, J. Agrie. FoodChem. 47:840-844; Petersen and Poll, 1999, Eur. Food Res. Technoi. 209:251-256; Heinonen et al., 1998, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 46:4107-4112; Gardiner et al., 1993, New Zealand J. Crop Hort. Sci. 21:213-218; Gao and Mazza, 1995, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 43:343-346. Fig—de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. FoodChem. 48:5331-5337. Mulberry—Gerasopoulos and Stavroulakis, 1997, J. Sci. Food Agrie. 73:261-264. Peach—Karakurt et al., 2000, J. Sci. Food Agrie. 80:1841-1847; Chang et al., 2000, Agrie. FoodChem. 48:147-151; de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. FoodChem. 48:5331-5337; Carbonaro and Mattera, 2001, FoodChem. 72:419-424. Pear—de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 48:5331-5337; Escarpa and González, 2001, Eur. Food Res. Technoi. 212:439-444; Carbonaro and Mattera, 2001, Food Chem. 72:419-424. Persimmon—Herrmann, 1996, Industrielle Obst- und Gemüseverwertung 81:114-121; Wesche-Ebeling et al., 1996, Food Chem. 57:399-403; de Ancos et al., 2000, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 48:3542-3548; de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 48:5331-5337; Bibi et al., 2001, Nahrung/Food45:82-86. Plum— Siddiq et al., 1994, J. Food Process. Preserv. 18:75-84; Wesche-Ebeling et al., 1996, Food Chem. 57:399-403; Herrmann, 1996, Industrielle Obst- und Gemüseverwertung 81:114-121; de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 48:5331-5337. Quince—de Pascual-Teresa et al., 2000, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 48:5331 -5337; Silva et al., 2000, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 48:2853-2857; Andrade et al., 1998, J. Agrie. Food Chem. 46:968-972.

*Per 100 g dry matter.

** Purees were obtained by boiling fruit for 15 minutes, then removing cores and pulping them. *** Not clear whether sweet or sour cherries.

t Measurable amounts of anthocyanidins are present in only red-peeled apples such as 'Delicious'.

j RE are still reported for USDA data, although RAE (retinol activity equivalents) are now the preferred method of reporting by the National Research Council. For preformed vitamin A 1 RAE = 1 RE = 1 g retinol. For conversions between RAE and provitamin A source, refer to Trumbo et al., 2001, JADA 101:294-301.

benefits. Numerous epidemiological and some intervention studies indicate that increased consumption of fruit, nuts, and vegetables is associated with decreased risk of heart disease, cancer, and possibly other chronic diseases (Kris-Etherton et al., 1999; Ness and Powles, 1997; Steinmetz and Potter, 1996). Some of the potentially beneficial nutrients found in temperate tree fruit include dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin A and carotenoids, vitamin C, tocopherol, and phenolic compounds.

• Dietary fiber (both soluble and insoluble forms): Dietary fiber is important for gastrointestinal health. Studies indicate that it may be associated with reduced risk of certain types of cancer as well as improved control of blood lipids and glucose (Anderson andHanna, 1999).

• Potassium: Many, but not all, cross-sectional and epidemiologi-cal studies identify an inverse relationship between blood pressure and the amount of potassium in the diet (Burgess et al., 1999). Potassium may also protect against risk of stroke.

• Vitamin A and carotenoids: Vitamin A is required for normal vision and immune function. In addition, consumption of foods rich in preformed and provitamin A may reduce risk of some types of cancer (Lampe, 1999).

• Vitamin C (ascorbic acid): Vitamin C provides important anti-oxidant protection and appears to affect most aspects of the immune system (Hughes, 1999). Diets with high vitamin C content from fruit and vegetables are associated with reduced risk of some types of cancer (Levine et al., 1996).

• Tocopherol: Most fruit do not provide significant quantities of tocopherol; however, almonds (as well as all other nuts) are a very good source. Diets rich in food sources of tocopherol are associated with reduced risk of coronary heart disease (Lampe, 1999).

• Phenolic compounds: Phenolic compounds are present in all land-based plants, but their distribution is largely genera and species specific. They play a major role in determining taste, flavor, and color. Recent research has focused on the potential health benefits of phenolic compounds, particularly flavonoids. In vitro, phenolic compounds are powerful antioxidants, can modulate platelet activation and endothelial function, and can influence a variety of enzyme activities—all important pro cesses in the prevention of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and possibly other chronic diseases. Dietary phenolics are at least partially absorbed and appear to retain some activity in vivo despite extensive metabolic modification and degradation. Evidence from a growing number of animal studies as well as some clinical trials suggests that specific phenolic compounds can lower the risk of some chronic diseases, particularly heart disease and some cancers. Because of their potential importance, the phenolic compounds found in pome and stone fruit are highlighted in the following section.

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