“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is a well-known saying that points to the nutritional benefits of fruits and vegetables. And it is true that apples (with skin) have antibacterial and natural laxative effects and also support the gastrointestinal system. The health benefits described below are the reason why Bircher Muesli (which is not vegan) and Erb Muesli both include apples.
The regular consumption of raw apples reduces the risk of certain diseases.
From Wikipedia: “Eating apples regularly reduces the risk of cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases, asthma, diabetes mellitus, and cancer. In the case of cancer, they are shown to be most effective against colon and lung cancer. Multiple studies, animal experiments, and epidemiological data show that the regular consumption of apples can help to prevent cancer.*”
Pectins and polyphenols such as quercetin appear to be responsible for reducing the risk of cancer (with rats up to 50%).
“Apples are a rich source of various phytochemicals including flavonoids (e.g., catechins, flavanols, and quercetin) and other phenolic compounds (e.g., epicatechin and procyanidins) found in the skin, core, and pulp of the apple; they have unknown health value in humans.
Ideain (cyanidin 3-O-galactoside) is an anthocyanin, a type of pigment, which is found in some red apple varieties.
Phlorizin is a flavonoid that is found in apple trees, particularly in the leaves, and in only small amounts if at all in other plants, even other species of the Malus genus or related plants such as pear trees.”
It doesnʼt matter what type of apple you choose as it would be going too far to distinguish between the different types and the availability depends on the season and region where you live.
“A typical apple serving weighs 242 grams and provides 126 calories with a moderate content of dietary fiber (table). Additional information is available on Wikipedia.
“Apples are an important ingredient in many desserts, such as apple pie, apple crumble, apple crisp and apple cake. They are often eaten baked or stewed, and they can also be dried and eaten or reconstituted (soaked in water, alcohol or some other liquid) for later use. ...”
Information about apple varieties:
See this list of apple cultivars and also the Wikipedia entry for apples. “There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples. Cultivars vary in their yield and the ultimate size of the tree, even when grown on the samerootstock. Different cultivars are available for temperate and subtropical climates.”
Allergies and seed toxicity:
“One form of apple allergy ... is called birch-apple syndrome, and is found in people who are also allergic to birch pollen. Allergic reactions are triggered by a protein in apples that is similar to birch pollen, ... The variety of apple, maturity and storage conditions can change the amount of allergen present in individual fruits. ...”
“The seeds of apples contain small amounts of amygdalin, a sugar and cyanide compound known as a cyanogenic glycoside. Ingesting small amounts of apple seeds will cause no ill effects, but in extremely large doses can cause adverse reactions.”
Production and storage:
“World production of apples in 2013 was 80.8 million tonnes, with China producing 49% of this total (table). ...”
“Sliced apples turn brown with exposure to air due to the conversion of natural phenolic substances into melanin upon exposure to oxygen. ... Sliced fruit can be treated with acidulated water to prevent this effect.”
“For home storage, most varieties of apple can be held for approximately two weeks when kept at the coolest part of the refrigerator (i.e. below 5 °C). Some types, including the Granny Smith and Fuji, can be stored up to a year without significant degradation.”
Note (italics): * = Translation from a German Wikipedia entry.
|Nutritional Information per 100g||2000 kCal|
|Saturated Fats||0.03 g||0.1%|
|Carbohydrates (inc.dietary fiber)||14 g||5.1%|
|Protein (albumin)||0.26 g||0.5%|
|Cooking Salt (Na:1.0 mg)||2.5 mg||0.1%|
|Essential Nutrients per 100g with %-share Daily Requirement at 2000 kCal|
|Vit||Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||4.6 mg||6.0%|
|Elem||Potassium, K||107 mg||5.0%|
|Min||Copper, Cu||0.03 mg||3.0%|
|Vit||Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||0.04 mg||3.0%|
|Vit||Vitamin K||2.2 µg||3.0%|
|Elem||Phosphorus, P||11 mg||2.0%|
|Min||Manganese, Mn||0.04 mg||2.0%|
|Vit||Thiamine (vitamin B1)||0.02 mg||2.0%|
|Vit||Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||0.03 mg||2.0%|
|Vit||Vitamin E, as a-TEs||0.18 mg||2.0%|
The majority of the nutritional information comes from the USDA (US Department of Agriculture). This means that the information for natural products is often incomplete or only given within broader categories, whereas in most cases products made from these have more complete information displayed.
If we take flaxseed, for example, the important essential amino acid ALA (omega-3) is only included in an overarching category whereas for flaxseed oil ALA is listed specifically. In time, we will be able to change this, but it will require a lot of work. An “i” appears behind ingredients that have been adjusted and an explanation appears when you hover over this symbol.
For Erb Muesli, the original calculations resulted in 48 % of the daily requirement of ALA — but with the correction, we see that the muesli actually covers >100 % of the necessary recommendation for the omega-3 fatty acid ALA. Our goal is to eventually be able to compare the nutritional value of our recipes with those that are used in conventional western lifestyles.
|Essential amino acids||2000 kCal|
|Threonine (Thr, T)||0.01 g||1.0%|
|Leucine (Leu, L)||0.01 g||1.0%|
|Lysine (Lys, K)||0.01 g||1.0%|
|Valine (Val, V)||0.01 g||1.0%|
|Tryptophan (Trp, W)||0 g||< 0.1%|
|Isoleucine (Ile, I)||0.01 g||< 0.1%|
|Methionine (Met, M)||0 g||< 0.1%|
|Phenylalanine (Phe, F)||0.01 g||< 0.1%|
|Vitamin C (ascorbic acid)||4.6 mg||6.0%|
|Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)||0.04 mg||3.0%|
|Vitamin K||2.2 µg||3.0%|
|Thiamine (vitamin B1)||0.02 mg||2.0%|
|Riboflavin (vitamin B2)||0.03 mg||2.0%|
|Vitamin E, as a-TEs||0.18 mg||2.0%|
|Folate, as the active form of folic acid (née vitamin B9 and B11)||3 µg||2.0%|
|Niacin (née vitamin B3)||0.09 mg||1.0%|
|Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)||0.06 mg||1.0%|
|Vitamin D||0 µg||< 0.1%|
|Vitamin A, as RAE||3 µg||< 0.1%|
|Essential macroelements (macronutrients)||2000 kCal|
|Potassium, K||107 mg||5.0%|
|Phosphorus, P||11 mg||2.0%|
|Calcium, Ca||6 mg||1.0%|
|Magnesium, Mg||5 mg||1.0%|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg||< 0.1%|
|Essential trace elements (micronutrients)||2000 kCal|
|Copper, Cu||0.03 mg||3.0%|
|Manganese, Mn||0.04 mg||2.0%|
|Iron, Fe||0.12 mg||1.0%|
|Zinc, Zn||0.04 mg||< 0.1%|
|Fluorine, F||3.3 µg||< 0.1%|
|Selenium, Se||0 µg||< 0.1%|