Science Fair Background

Topics: Nutrition, Vitamin, Folic acid Pages: 6 (1630 words) Published: August 28, 2013
Is a Dense Fruit a Healthy Fruit?
We all try to live a healthy and balanced life. We do this in many ways including exercising and eating “healthy” foods. But how do we really know what foods are “healthy”? This project looks to see how food density correlates to nutritional content?

What does healthy mean? When talking bout food “healthy” means to be nutrient dense. These foods have a low ratio of calories in relation to the amount of nutrients they contain. Many foods that are nutrient dense will be very filling without having a lot of calories. When measuring the nutrient density of a food the ANDI scale is used. The ANDI scale is the “Aggregate Nutrient Density Index” ("Aggregate Nutrient Density Index.", n.d.). This scale assigns scores to whole foods. The highest scores are given to the whole foods that contain the highest % of nutrients per calorie. The equation use to find the ANDI score is H=N/C (health of a food= the nutrients it delivers per calorie) ("Health Problems & Alternative Health Care." N.d.). The scale ranges from 0-1000. 0 being the lowest (least amount of nutrients per calorie) and 1000 being the highest (highest amount of nutrients per calorie) (Discovery Health n.d.).

For this project the student needed the highest ANDI scoring fruits to determine if their score changed when being more/less dense. The ten highest ANDI scoring fruits are as followed: 1. strawberries with a score of 212 2.blackberries with a score of 178 3.plums with a score of 157 4.raspberries with a score of 145 5.blueberries with a score of 130 6.papaya with a score of 118 7.oranges with a score of 109 8.cantalope with a score of 100 with a score of 97 10.watermelon with a score of 91 "The Top 10 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods” 2012).

In the experiment the student will be fining the daily percentage of calories, vitamin K, folate, Dietary fiber, vitamin B6, vitamin C, tryopan, omega fatty acids, manganese, protein, potassium, and magnesium of each fruit.

A dietary calorie is defined as approximately the energy needed to increase the temperature of 1 kilogram of water by 1 °C. This is exactly 1,000 small calories or approximately 4.2 kilojoules (“calories in food” n.d).

Vitamin K is necessary for proper bone growth and blood coagulation. Vitamin K accomplishes this by helping the body transport calcium (“nutrition glossary” n.d.). 

Vitamin B9, also known as folic acid, is a B vitamin necessary for cell replication and growth. Folic acid helps form building blocks of DNA, which holds the body’s genetic information, and building blocks of RNA, needed for protein synthesis. Folic acid is most important, then, for rapidly growing tissues, such as those of a fetus, and rapidly regenerating cells, like red blood cells and immune cells (“nutrition glossary” n.d.). Folic acid deficiency results in an anemia that responds quickly to folic acid supplements.

Dietary fiber comes from the thick cell walls of plants. It is an indigestible complex carbohydrate. Fiber is divided into two general categories: water-soluble and water-insoluble. Soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol (“nutrition glossary” n.d.). However, in many studies, the degree of cholesterol reduction was quite modest. For unknown reasons, diets higher in insoluble fiber (mostly unrelated to cholesterol levels) have been shown to correlate better with protection against heart disease in human trials. Soluble fibers can also lower blood-sugar levels, and some doctors believe that increasing fiber decreases the body’s need for insulin—a good sign for diabetics. Insoluble fiber acts as a stool softener, which speeds digestion through the intestinal tract. For this reason, insoluble fiber is an effective treatment for constipation. The reduction in "transit time" has also been thought to partially explain the link between a high-fiber diet and a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Vitamin B6 is a water-soluble...

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