Apples Increase the Growth of Beneficial Bacteria in Our Guts, Which Improves Our Health
Posted on October 25, 2014 Comments (3)
Science provides some very clear knowledge that is easy for us to apply (the value of vaccines, materials to use in solar panels, support needed to build a bridge, dangers of consuming small amounts of lead…). But much of our knowledge about nutrition and human health is a bit unclear. This is one of the struggles we face is using our judgement to decide how to eat and live based on what we know and what seems to be so.
Eating more fruit and vegetables than most in the USA eat is pretty clearly beneficial to our health. but exactly how much, how beneficial, how it is beneficial are questions with only varying degrees of good answers so far. Apple’s Scientists at Washington State University have concluded that nondigestible compounds in apples – specifically, Granny Smith apples – may help prevent disorders associated with obesity.
“We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study’s lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”
The tart green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates. The non-digestible compounds are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.
The study showed that Granny Smith apples surpass Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of nondigestible compounds they contain.
The discovery could help prevent some of the disorders associated with obesity such as low-grade, chronic inflammation that can lead to diabetes. The balance of bacterial communities in the colon of obese people is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity, Noratto said.
Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety, she said.
It does seem safe to say eating an apple a day or even say just 3 apples a week is a good step for your health. I try to eat apples, green vegetables, carrots, yogurt and other fresh fruit and vegetables. My concentration on fruits and vegetables is partially because they have good evidence for aiding our health and partially because I know I am still likely under eating those things. Exactly how much is good for a healthy life I think is questionable but I don’t think I am near the optimum, even while I think I am doing much better on that score than most people. I am also very healthy, though I think that is largely good genes and luck but healthy eating and exercise also contribute to my continued health, I believe.
Related: An Apple a Day is Good Advice (2012) – How Healthy Is Squid for Us? – Study After Study Find No Benefits to Multivitamins for Most People – Apple Farmer Uses Pigs Instead of Pesticides – Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.