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Apple | Food Item and Its Nutritional Components

This paper introduces a theme about a food item and its nutritional components. It describes and investigates the chemical composition of the foods we eat as our bodies break down food by the digestive process.

To start with, a food item that was chosen in order to be investigated is called an apple and its portion size is equal to one medium (182g).

Describing its composition in terms of carbohydrates, lipids, and proteins, it is possible to mention that an apple consists of carbohydrates that amount to 25.13 percent, proteins that contain 0.47 and total lipids (fat) that are equal to 0.31. Moreover, the food item involves calories that amount to 95 kcals per 182g or 1 medium.

Talking about the most common vitamins and minerals in this food item, it is necessary to note that apples contain organic acids, iron, potassium, calcium, magnesium, zinc, sodium, phosphorus, thiamin (B1), riboflavin (B2), niacin (B3), pantothenic acid (B5), pyridoxine (B6), folacin (B9), ascorbic acid (vitamin C), tocopherol (vitamin E), vitamin K and other nutrients. In addition, there are other important nutritional components of this food item that include quercetin, which reduces the risk of lung cancer by 46 percent, epicatechin and other catechins, and procyanidin that is considered to be useful in the prevention of heart disease and diabetes.

Furthermore, 155.72 percent of an apple is water. This is a widespread fact that water is very important for our lives. “…All recognize that water is central both to environmental sustainability and to human health” (Lodge, 2010, p. 7).

To prove this fact, it is necessary to explain a reason for water’s importance based upon its chemical and physical properties.

Chemical properties of water: sometimes water is regarded as ampholyte. By itself, water is relatively inert under normal conditions, but its highly polar molecules solvate ions and molecules to form hydrates and crystalline hydrates. Solvolysis, especially hydrolysis, occurs in animate and inanimate nature, and is widely used in chemical industries.

Physical properties of water: 1) high heat capacity of liquid water, 2) low viscosity, 3) high surface tension, and 4) negative electrical potential of surface water.

There is no doubt that the most abundant category of biological molecules in food is carbohydrates, lipids, or proteins. Let us focus our attention on their basic molecular structures and functions.

Carbohydrates contain oxygen, hydrogen and carbon in the ratio of 1:2:1. The structure of carbohydrates can perform many biological functions. Energy function: carbohydrates are main sources of energy for a person’s body. Structural function: carbohydrates and their derivatives were found in all tissues and organs. The function of storing nutrients: starch and glycogen are spare forms of carbohydrates and are consumed as the need arises in the energy. Protective function: they protect hollow organs (esophagus, colon, stomach, bronchi) from mechanical damages and harmful bacteria and viruses.

Lipids are water-insoluble organic molecules. The most important functions are structural, energy, regulatory. Phospholipids form a bilayer in an aqueous medium, which is the basis of all biological membranes. Steroid hormones regulate many body functions: the stress response, water balance, and sexual function.

A basic structural unit of proteins is molecules of amino acids. Proteins are divided into simple proteins and complex ones. The protein’s structure is primary, secondary, tertiary and quaternary. The main functions include the following ones: catalytic, structural, safety, regulatory, etc.

In conclusion, it is necessary to recommend this food item as a part of a healthy, nutritious diet because apples, like most fruits, do not contain fat, and consequently, they include a small portion of calories. Thus, if a person wants to lose his/her weight, it is recommended to eat apples in your daily diet. Moreover, it is important to make up your own Food Pyramid that “provides specific recommendations for making food choices that will improve the quality of an average American diet” (United States Department of Agriculture, n.d., para. 7).
References:
Lodge, D. M. (2010). It’s the Water, Stupid! BioScience, 60 (1), 6-7.
United States Department of Agriculture. (n.d.). MyPyramid Food Guidance System Education Framework. Retrieved June 10, 2011, from http://www.choosemyplate.gov/professionals/pdf_framework.html