Granny Smith apples improve gut bacteria and reduce inflammation

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granny smith apples(NaturalHealth365) An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but – as an added bonus – Granny Smith apples will greet good gut bacteria with open arms.

And, that’s because, researchers recently uncovered evidence that this tart green variety is superior to other types of apples in building a community of healthy bacteria in the colon. This is due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including fiber and polyphenols.

While the health benefits of eating apples have been known for years, researchers just recently began evaluating the various varieties for differences in the amount of non-digestible compounds they contained, hoping the result could bring new hope to obese individuals. As it turns out, Granny Smith apples are a cut above the rest.

Why should we care about gut bacteria?

Scientists have found that the colons of obese animals contain a different bacterial make up than the bacterial communities found in the colons of their skinnier counterparts.

All apples, but the Granny Smith variety in particular, are known to promote the growth of healthy bacteria found in the colon. This is because of their high volume of non-digestible compounds, such as dietary fiber and polyphenols, as well as the comparatively low levels of available carbohydrates.

The non-digestible compounds remain intact throughout the digestive process prior to reaching the colon. Upon their arrival, they are fermented by existing bacteria in the colon, aiding in the growth of friendly microbes in the gut.

By unlocking ways to promote the growth of the so-called “good” bacteria while discouraging the presence of less desirable gut inhabitants, researchers are hoping to reduce the occurrence of diabetes and other metabolic disorders associated with obesity.

Scientists uncover the power of Granny Smith apples

In a study by Washington State University, researchers sought to compare several apple varieties to determine if any were superior in amounts of non-digestible compounds they contain, the key to reduced inflammation in the gut, which often leads to diabetes over time. Their study looked at Granny Smith, as well as Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious apple varieties.

Lead study author and food scientist Giuliana Noratto said that the non-digestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the types and amounts of fecal bacteria normally exhibited by obese mice. Instead, the mice exhibited bacterial growth typically found in the colons of lean mice. The study was published in a recent issue of the Food Chemistry journal.

The researchers hope the study results help consumers to target apple varieties most likely to reduce inflammation in the gut and promote a healthy bacteria community.

References:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03088146/161/supp/C
http://www.cdc.gov/obesity/data/adult.html

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  • Norma W

    I love this article, i always use Granny Smith apples in my carrot juice. Suffice it to say I am happy to see that I have been doing something good for my health.This goes to show nature works.

  • Kathi

    My only problem now is going to be finding them. I have never seen any organic varieties at the store or markets around here. I changed to organics about three years ago because we finally figured out the chemical sensitivity has always been my problem, not the food itself. But since I’m still having problems to a lesser degree, I’m always on the lookout for something else I might give a try, nutrition-wise that is. I refuse to live on pharmaceutical pills for relief. Farmers grow all kinds of apples around here, just not granny smith. I’ll see if I can find a mail-order variety. If anyone knows of one, I’d appreciate the heads-up.

    • Joan Camara

      I have an Harris Teeter grocery store that sells organic apples, and other organic fruit, and well as many organic food products throughout the store. I’ve also found them in Food Lion. Maybe Bi-Lo has them too, not sure. So anyway, I was thinking about selling the many seeds I get from all my organic fruits I eat. I have grown so many various trees now (still only about 1 foot as I started them from seed) , that I can’t grow anymore to put in my big field I have. So if anyone wants any organic granny smith apple tree seeds, and want to try to grow your own, you could contact me at joan_of_ark@yahoo;com. I don’t know how much to sell them for, so I let anyone name their price, if it’s reasonable. Any little bit would help to cover the shipping. I also have organic oranges, and lemon seeds, but not as many of those as the apple seeds. So I look forward to sharing them with all the organic buddies out there!

      • Kathi

        Hi Joan… saw your response here. Tried your email address above, it’s not working because you have a semi-colon, not a dot before the .com address. Hopefully you’ll get me response therefore in your inbox.

    • Norma W

      Believe it or not I have found organic Granny Smith apples in local supermarkets. However, they are not there all year round, it seems they have a limited growing season.