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An Apple A Day? Better Make It Two!

An Apple A Day

Apples have long been associated with a healthful diet. After all, the adage, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” which originated in the 1860s, is a common refrain around the world. (1)

Yet for some people, like those Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth (SIBO), apples can trigger digestive symptoms like bloating and gas. If you find apples give you these symptoms it is a sure sign that our 30-Day HealMyGut program is for you. Once you heal your gut apples will once again become a staple to your diet.

The fact is we need apples!

Researchers are finding that the humble apple is not only nutritious but also has healing powers that begin in the gut.

One study (2) in Japan demonstrated that the population of friendly bacteria, bifidus and lactobacillus, increased significantly by eating two apples a day for two weeks. The pectin in apples seems to play a significant role so drinking a glass of apple juice does not have the same benefit.

The finding is significant because apple pectin is a prebiotic — a non-digestible dietary nutrient, which beneficially influences the intestinal bacteria by stimulating their growth. These “friendly” bacteria fight inflammation and prevent a host of digestive problems. In essence, apples provide your gut bacteria the food they need to do their job.

Further, in another study a research team at Washington State University (3) compared several different types of apples to measure the amounts of non-digestible compounds they contain, and they found that Granny Smith apples, (yes those tart, green apples!), contained the highest levels of prebiotics, including dietary fibers and polyphenols.

Clearly, food is indeed medicine. Adhering to the old adage, “An apple a day” is good for you. There are thousand of varieties to try. Don’t wait …treat your gut to the healing powers of apples today!

As Dr. Blum says, “A healthy gut equals a healthy immune system, and using food as medicine is always the path towards getting there!

Meet Melissa: Melissa Rapoport is the Manager of Health Coaching and Lifestyle Programming at Blum Center for Health in Rye Brook, NY. She combines her graduate work in Developmental Psychology with her education in nutrition, health and coaching to create highly individualized programs that result in lifetime change. A contributing author to three international bestselling books, Melissa’s greatest joy is her relationship with her two daughters.

1. Story behind an apple a day. Ely, M. Washington Post Online.

2. Effect of apple intake on fecal microbiota and metabolites in humans.
Shinohara K, Ohashi Y, Kawasumi K et al. Anaerobe 2010; 16(5): 510-515

3. Condezo-Hoyos L, Mohanty IP, and Noratto GD. Assessing non-digestible compounds in apple cultivars and their potential as modulators of obese faecal microbiota in vitro. Food Chemistry. 2014.

9 thoughts on “An Apple A Day? Better Make It Two!

  1. prebiotic like jicama and dandelion greens? Apples? I am doing the IFM 21 day elimination diet right now for RA and apples are definitely ON this diet. I have been tested for SIBO in the past and it was negative. Enjoying an apple a day for 3 weeks.
    albeit, no coffee or black tea but why does it say green tea? I thought the problem was caffeine. Green tea has a lot!

  2. One of my favorite fall activities is apple picking! I just finished off my last picked apple. Time to get some more, thanks for your educational post Melissa.

  3. Lisa, There’s no better way to get apples then straight off the tree! Apple picking is also a great way to be in the outdoors to reduce stress, breathe fresh air and have fun — all great for our health … and our gut! Thanks for your comment, Lisa.

  4. I love apples! I live in Cortland County, New York, home of Cortland apples. I always keep a bowl out for myself and the grandkids when they come. Thanks for all the information!

  5. Wow! I learned so much about Apples! Thank you for the informative post. 🙂

  6. Hi Melissa,
    I didn’t realize apples were prebiotics. For some years I had an allergic reaction to them, but recently I’ve been able to reintroduce them into my diet. I love the ambrosia and honey crisp varieties grown in the Okanagan Valley. Thanks for sharing this important info!

  7. Mmmm…apples. Think I’ll have one right now 🙂

  8. What good news about the mighty apple! I love apples! My favorite are the Gala variety!

  9. I always appreciate finding ‘new’ sources of pre-biotics. Thanks.

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