The chief foodstuffs in fruits are carbohydrates and mineral matter. Fresh fruit contains from 75 to 95 per cent of water, and its presence is apparent in such juicy fruits as the melon and the orange. Figure 25 shows that seemingly dry fruits like the banana and the apple also contain much water. Even fruits which have been artificially dried, like prunes and raisins, contain some water. (Fig. 26.) Although the carbohydrates of fruits are largely in the form of sugars easily digested and valuable as fuel, this kind of food is especially valuable for its rich supply of ash, including the compounds of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron. The iron is of great importance, being in a form much more useful to the normal

Fig. 25.   Composition of fruit.

Fig. 25. - Composition of fruit.

Fig. 26.   Composition of fruit.

Fig. 26. - Composition of fruit.

Fig. 27.   100 Calorie portions of fresh and dried fruit.

Fig. 27. - 100-Calorie portions of fresh and dried fruit.

Kind

Weight of Portion ounces

Apple........

7.5

Banana.......

5.5

Grapes.......

4.9

Orange.......

9.5

Peaches...

10.5

Pears........

6.3

Kind

Weight of Portion ounces

Apricots......

1.3

Dates..........

1.1

Prues.........

1.4

Raisins........

1.1

processes of the body than that prescribed medicinally. The bulk given by cellulose, and the laxative property of fruit acids also are safeguards against constipation, especially in a meat diet. Fruit is the best possible dessert after a hearty meat dinner.

The digestibility of fruit is increased for some people by cooking. This is probably due to the softening of the fiber, to the destruction of any bacteria present, and in the case of the banana, to the cooking of the starch. Fruit juice can be taken by little children and invalids who might find the fiber troublesome. Some people cannot eat berries on account of irritation caused by the seeds. In this case, juice may be squeezed from cooked berries and used for beverages and jelly.