Fermented Apples, Kirsch From Fermented Cherries, Slivovitz | Health Dictionary

Fermented Apples, Kirsch From Fermented Cherries, Slivovitz | Health Dictionary



APPLES

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Low Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: High Sodium: Low (fresh or dried fruit) High (dried fruit treated with sodium sulfur compounds) Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium About the Nutrients in This Food Apples are a high-fiber fruit with insoluble cellulose and lignin in the peel and soluble pectins in the flesh. Their most important vitamin is vitamin C. One fresh apple, 2.5 inches in diameter, has 2.4 g dietary fiber and 4.6 mg vitamin C (6 percent of the R DA for a woman, 5 percent of the R DA for a man). The sour taste of all immature apples (and some varieties, even when ripe) comes from malic acid. As an apple ripens, the amount of malic acid declines and the apple becomes sweeter. Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a naturally occurring cyanide/sugar compound that degrades into hydrogen cyanide. While accidentally swal- lowing an apple seed once in a while is not a serious hazard for an adult, cases of human poisoning after eating apple seeds have been reported, and swallowing only a few seeds may be lethal for a child. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Fresh and unpared, to take advantage of the fiber in the peel and preserve the vitamin C, which is destroyed by the heat of cooking. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Antiflatulence diet (raw apples) Low-fiber diet Buying This Food Look for: Apples that are firm and brightly colored: shiny red Macintosh, Rome, and red Delicious; clear green Granny Smith; golden yellow Delicious. Avoid: Bruised apples. When an apple is damaged the injured cells release polyphenoloxi- dase, an enzyme that hastens the oxidation of phenols in the apple, producing brownish pigments that darken the fruit. It’s easy to check loose apples; if you buy them packed in a plastic bag, turn the bag upside down and examine the fruit. Storing This Food Store apples in the refrigerator. Cool storage keeps them from losing the natural moisture that makes them crisp. It also keeps them from turning brown inside, near the core, a phe- nomenon that occurs when apples are stored at warm temperatures. Apples can be stored in a cool, dark cabinet with plenty of circulating air. Check the apples from time to time. They store well, but the longer the storage, the greater the natural loss of moisture and the more likely the chance that even the crispest apple will begin to taste mealy. Preparing This Food Don’t peel or slice an apple until you are ready to use it. When you cut into the apple, you tear its cells, releasing polyphenoloxidase, an enzyme that darkens the fruit. Acid inactivates polyphenoloxidase, so you can slow the browning (but not stop it completely) by dipping raw sliced and/or peeled apples into a solution of lemon juice and water or vinegar and water or by mixing them with citrus fruits in a fruit salad. Polyphenoloxidase also works more slowly in the cold, but storing peeled apples in the refrigerator is much less effective than immersing them in an acid bath. What Happens When You Cook This Food When you cook an unpeeled apple, insoluble cellulose and lignin will hold the peel intact through all normal cooking. The flesh of the apple, though, will fall apart as the pectin in its cell walls dissolves and the water inside its cells swells, rupturing the cell walls and turning the apples into applesauce. Commercial bakers keep the apples in their apple pies firm by treating them with calcium; home bakers have to rely on careful timing. To prevent baked apples from melting into mush, core the apple and fill the center with sugar or raisins to absorb the moisture released as the apple cooks. Cutting away a circle of peel at the top will allow the fruit to swell without splitting the skin. Red apple skins are colored with red anthocyanin pigments. When an apple is cooked, the anthocyanins combine with sugars to form irreversible brownish compounds. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Juice. Apple juice comes in two versions: “cloudy” (unfiltered) and “clear” (filtered). Cloudy apple juice is made simply by chopping or shredding apples and then pressing out and straining the juice. Clear apple juice is cloudy juice filtered to remove solid particles and then treated with enzymes to eliminate starches and the soluble fiber pectin. Since 2000, follow- ing several deaths attributed to unpasteurized apple juice contaminated with E. coli O157: H7, the FDA has required that all juices sold in the United States be pasteurized to inactivate harmful organisms such as bacteria and mold. Note: “Hard cider” is a mildly alcoholic bever- age created when natural enzyme action converts the sugars in apple juice to alcohol; “non- alcohol cider” is another name for plain apple juice. Drying. To keep apple slices from turning brown as they dry, apples may be treated with sulfur compounds that may cause serious allergic reactions in people allergic to sulfites. Medical Uses and/or Benefits As an antidiarrheal. The pectin in apple is a natural antidiarrheal that helps solidif y stool. Shaved raw apple is sometimes used as a folk remedy for diarrhea, and purified pectin is an ingredient in many over-the-counter antidiarrheals. Lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber (pectin) may interfere with the absorption of dietary fats, including cholesterol. The exact mechanism by which this occurs is still unknown, but one theory is that the pectins in the apple may form a gel in your stomach that sops up fats and cholesterol, carrying them out of your body as waste. Potential anticarcinogenic effects. A report in the April 2008 issue of the journal Nutrition from a team of researchers at the Universit y of Kaiserslautern, in Germany, suggests that several natural chemicals in apples, including but yrate (produced naturally when the pectin in apples and apple juice is metabolized) reduce the risk of cancer of the colon by nourishing and protecting the mucosa (lining) of the colon. Adverse Effects Associated with This Food Intestinal gas. For some children, drinking excess amounts of apple juice produces intestinal discomfort (gas or diarrhea) when bacteria living naturally in the stomach ferment the sugars in the juice. To reduce this problem, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages one to six consume no more than four to six ounces of fruit juice a day; for children ages seven to 18, the recommended serving is eight to 12 ounces a day. Cyanide poisoning. See About the nutrients in this food. Sulfite allergies (dried apples). See How other kinds of processing affect this food. Food/Drug Interactions Digoxin (Lanoxicaps, Lanoxin). Pectins may bind to the heart medication digoxin, so eating apples at the same time you take the drug may reduce the drug’s effectiveness.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

CHERRIES

A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide

Nutritional Profile Energy value (calories per serving): Low Protein: Moderate Fat: Low Saturated fat: Low Cholesterol: None Carbohydrates: High Fiber: Moderate Sodium: Low Major vitamin contribution: Vitamin A (sour cherries), vitamin C Major mineral contribution: Potassium About the Nutrients in This Food Cherries have moderate amounts of fiber, insoluble cellulose and lignin in the skin and soluble pectins in the flesh, plus vitamin C. One cup fresh red sweet cherries (two ounces, without pits) has 3.2 g dietary fiber, 64 IU vitamin A (.2 percent of the R DA) and 10.8 mg vitamin C (14 percent of the R DA for a woman, 12 percent of the R DA for a man). One-half cup canned water-packed sour/tart cherries has 0.5 g dietary fiber and 1.5 mg vitamin C, and 377 IU vitamin A (16 percent of the R DA for a woman, 13 percent of the R DA for a man). Like apple seeds and apricot, peach, or plum pits, cherry pits contain amygdalin, a naturally occurring cyanide/sugar compound that breaks down into hydrogen cyanide in the stomach. While accidentally swallow- ing a cherry pit once in a while is not a serious hazard, cases of human poisoning after eating apple seeds have been reported (see apples). NOTE : Some wild cherries are poisonous. The Most Nutritious Way to Serve This Food Sweet cherries can be eaten raw to protect their vitamin C; sour (“cook- ing”) cherries are more palatable when cooked. * Except for maraschino cherries, which are high in sodium. Diets That May Restrict or Exclude This Food Low-sodium diet (maraschino cherries) Buying This Food Look for: Plump, firm, brightly colored cherries with glossy skin whose color may range from pale golden yellow to deep red to almost black, depending on the variety. The stems should be green and fresh, bending easily and snapping back when released. Avoid: Sticky cherries (they’ve been damaged and are leaking), red cherries with very pale skin (they’re not fully ripe), and bruised cherries whose flesh will be discolored under the bruise. Storing This Food Store cherries in the refrigerator to keep them cold and humid, conserving their nutrient and flavor. Cherries are highly perishable; use them as quickly as possible. Preparing This Food Handle cherries with care. When you bruise, peel, or slice a cherry you tear its cell walls, releasing polyphenoloxidase—an enzyme that converts phenols in the cherry into brown compounds that darken the fruit. You can slow this reaction (but not stop it completely) by dipping raw sliced or peeled cherries into an acid solution (lemon juice and water or vinegar and water) or by mixing them with citrus fruits in a fruit salad. Polyphenoloxidase also works more slowly in the cold, but storing sliced or peeled cherries in the refrigerator is much less effective than bathing them in an acid solution. What Happens When You Cook This Food Depending on the variety, cherries get their color from either red anthocyanin pigments or yellow to orange to red carotenoids. The anthocyanins dissolve in water, turn redder in acids and bluish in bases (alkalis). The carotenoids are not affected by heat and do not dissolve in water, which is why cherries do not lose vitamin A when you cook them. Vitamin C, how- ever, is vulnerable to heat. How Other Kinds of Processing Affect This Food Canning and freezing. Canned and frozen cherries contain less vitamin C and vitamin A than fresh cherries. Sweetened canned or frozen cherries contain more sugar than fresh cherries. Candying. Candied cherries are much higher in calories and sugar than fresh cherries. Maraschino cherries contain about twice as many calories per serving as fresh cherries and are high in sodium. Medical Uses and/or Benefits Anti-inflammatory effects. In a series of laboratory studies conducted from 1998 through 2001, researchers at the Bioactive Natural Products Laboratory in the Department of Horti- culture and National Food Safety and Toxicology Center at Michigan State University dis- covered that the anthocyanins (red pigments) in tart cherries effectively block the activity of two enzymes, COX-1 and COX-2, essential for the production of prostaglandins, which are natural chemicals involved in the inflammatory response (which includes redness, heat, swelling, and pain). In other words, the anthocyanins appeared to behave like aspirin and other traditional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen and naproxen. In 2004, scientists at the USDA Human Nutrition Research Center in Davis, California, released data from a study showing that women who ate 45 bing (sweet) cherries at breakfast each morning had markedly lower blood levels of uric acid, a by-product of protein metabolism linked to pain and inflammation, during an acute episode of gout (a form of arthritis). The women in the study also had lower blood levels of C-reactive protein and nitric acid, two other chemicals linked to inflammation. These effects are yet to be proven in larger studies with a more diverse group of subjects.... A Nutritional, Medical and Culinary Guide