As an adult woman, you should have at least 1 1/2 cups of fruit each day, says the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Kids need between 1 and 2 cups depending on their age and gender. It's best for you to fulfill that requirement with fresh, whole fruit whenever you can, but applesauce is a good alternative. A 1-cup serving of applesauce counts as a 1-cup fruit serving. Just be sure to choose unsweetened applesauce to keep your intake of sugar under control; or, make your own without sugar and with the apple peel left on for as much fiber as possible.
According to the USDA, a 1-cup serving of unsweetened applesauce contains 66 micrograms of copper. That doesn't seem like much, but an adult woman only needs about 900 micrograms each day, and a cup of applesauce can fulfill 7.3 percent of that requirement. For children between nine and 13 years old, it supplies over 9 percent of the recommended daily allowance. Copper is needed for your body to make red blood cells and to absorb iron. Without adequate copper, you're more likely to become anemic or to develop osteoporosis.
Riboflavin, a B vitamin, helps with energy metabolism and is needed for your nervous system to work properly. A diet high in riboflavin-rich foods may lower your risk of migraine headaches and cataracts. Women need 1.1 milligrams of riboflavin each day, and a 1-cup serving of applesauce supplies approximately 6.6 percent of this requirement. Children can get between 7 and 12 percent of their daily riboflavin requirement by eating a serving of applesauce.
3. Vitamin B-6
Applesauce has 0.06 milligrams of vitamin B-6 in every 1-cup serving. This amount provides almost 5 percent of a woman's recommended daily allowance of vitamin B-6 and as much as 10 percent of a young child's RDA of the nutrient. Also known as pyridoxine, vitamin B-6 plays a vital role in the production of red blood cells and neurotransmitters like melatonin and serotonin that help regulate your mood and body clock. Eating plenty of vitamin B-6 may help lower your risk of depression, heart disease and rheumatoid arthritis. It may also decrease the severity of premenstrual syndrome symptoms.
Women need 1.1 milligrams of thiamin -- vitamin B-1 -- each day, while children need anywhere between 0.6 to 1.2 milligrams. Applesauce has 0.06 milligrams of thiamin in each cup, so you'll fulfill 5 percent of your daily requirement by eating a serving. Like all of the B vitamins, thiamin is needed for your body to metabolize fats, carbohydrates and protein. It also helps in the synthesis of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, and strengthens the immune system. If your diet includes foods high in thiamin, you may have a lower risk of cataracts and Alzheimer's disease.
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: How Much Fruit is Needed Daily?
- ChooseMyPlate.gov: What Counts as a Cup of Fruit?
- USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference: Nutrient Data for 09019, Applesauce, Canned, Unsweetened, Without Added Ascorbic Acid (Includes USDA Commodity)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Copper
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-2 (Riboflavin)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-6 (Pyridoxine)
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin B-1 (Thiamine)
- IT Stock Free/Polka Dot/Getty Images