Although apples do not grow in tropical climates, Filipinos, especially kids, have quite a liking to its plush red color and mild sweet taste. Luz Callanta, nutritionist and professor at the College of Home Economics, University of the Philippines in Diliman, gives some pointers on this sinful, but healthy red orb.
Popular types There are more than 7,500 known varieties of apples. The following apple varieties can be found in local supermakets: • Red Delicious. Deep red with dark red streaks and 5 “points” on the bottom. These heart-shaped beauties have a relatively simple sweet taste. • Fuji. Round with yellow and red stripes; contains 15 to 18 percent sugar and has a dense flesh that is sweeter and crispier than other apple varieties. • Gala. Small, usually red or orange, and vertically striped; has thinner skin than most apples’, resistant to bruising, and very sweet. • Granny Smith. Crisp and juicy green-colored with a very tart flavor; excellent for making pies, sauces, and salads because slices do not brown quickly.
Why It’s Good Apples contain almost zero fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Callanta advises parents to serve apples unpeeled because the bulk of the nutrients is found in the skin. Here are other healthy components found inside this crisp and crunchy fruit.
Phytonutrients: chemicals that reduce or stop oxidation, preventing cell and tissue damage; help protect the body against some types of cancers, type II diabetes, asthma, and other respiratory diseases. Fiber: the soluble fiber Pectin primarily found in the apple skin can both relieve constipation and treat diarrhea. For best results, mash or scrape apple with a spoon to increase the fruit’s surface area so it can absorb more toxins in the digestive tract.
Tannins: found in apple juice, tannins have anti-adhesion properties that may help prevent gum diseases, heart disease, and urinary tract infections.
Click here to read about buying and storing apples, as well as a recipe for homemade applesauce.