Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?
Apples are one of the most popular fruits we have and have been shown to enhance the growth of "good" bacteria that live in our gut, thereby improving our microbiome health.
You might wonder what exactly is the “gut microbiome?” The microbiome is a host of viruses, bacteria, and fungi that live in and on your body. Most of these live in our gut, where they are responsible for a huge amount of our health functions. Our gut microbiome controls our weight and appetite, holds approximately 70% of our immune, system and regulates our mood.
Apples have two compounds that influence the microbiome-supporting benefits: polyphenols and pectin, a type of prebiotic fiber found in the skin of the apple.
Prebiotics are compounds that support the growth of good bacteria. Pectin, a fiber found in apple skins, has been shown to promote the presence of anti-inflammatory beneficial bacterial species in the Firmicutes family, which are known for their health-supporting functions.
Procyanidins, are a group of antioxidant flavonoids, which helps with preventing obesity by improving the ratio of good to bad bacteria in the microbiome.
To reap the microbiome-supporting health benefits of apples, make sure to eat the whole fruit when you grab one—that includes the skin. The skin is the part of the apple that includes the highest levels of prebiotic fiber pectin.
Organic apples are the way to go, mostly due to non-organic apples being tainted with pesticides.
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