Bioactive Compounds of Apples and Pears as Health Promoters
- Pp. 98-109 (12)Andrea Catalina Galvis-Sánchez and Ada Rocha
Contemporaneous dietary patterns could be best described as in need of improvement. Obesity, diabetes and metabolic syndrome prevalence increased dramatically in the recent years likely due to unbalanced dietary patterns and sedentary lifestyle. “Epidemiological studies have shown that dietary patterns are significantly associated with the prevention of chronic diseases such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and Alzheimer’s disease”. </p><p> “Fruits and vegetables” have improved the human diet for centuries, enriching it nutritionally and sensorially. A significant amount of vitamins and minerals in the diet come from fruits and vegetables. “Approximately half of the vitamin A, in the form of carotene, over 90% of vitamin C and 40% of folacin come from this food group”. Fruits contribute with “considerable amounts of vitamins A, C, B6, thiamin, niacin and minerals (i.e. magnesium and iron)” to our diet. Furthermore, “they supply proteins, starch and sugars, and they are important sources of dietary and crude fiber”. </p><p> “Epidemiological and clinical investigations demonstrate significant decrease in morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular and other diseases among fruit and vegetables consumers”. These benefits have been associated to their content on dietary fiber and different bioactive compounds with anti-atherosclerotic and anticancer effects. </p><p> Apples and pears are some of the most “common and frequently consumed fruits in the world and the most widely consumed fruits by Western populations”. A revision of the type and content of bioactive compounds present in these types of fruits, as the main methodologies used for the assessment of their antioxidant potential are presented in this chapter.