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You’ve heard the old saying, “You are what you eat.”
Well, that is especially true when it comes to your gut health.
That’s because your gut microbiome is made up of millions and millions of bacteria, both good and bad that influence your health. In fact, whether or not your gut microbiome is healthy has been linked to your risk of developing multiple chronic health problems, including:
- Poor immune system or autoimmune issues
- Heart disease
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Anxiety and depression
- Psoriasis, eczema, and dermatitis
- Acid reflux
That’s quite the list, isn’t it?
And, the foods you eat play a big role in determining whether or not your gut is healthy and therefore whether or not you’re at risk for all of those issues.
Now, a new study is demonstrating how just one fruit could tip the balance for good or ill in your gut health…
The common apple
The study, published in Frontiers of Microbiology, took a hard look at the apple and just how many bacteria you’re taking in when you eat one. And, they analyzed the bacterial gap between conventional and organic apples.
The researchers compared conventional store-bought apples with organic ones. All parts of the apples were analyzed including the stem, peel, flesh, seeds, and calyx — the straggly bit at the bottom where the flower used to be.
And, here’s where it gets interesting… they came up with four extremely important results.
#1 – A Bacteria Powerhouse
The first was that apples are a great source of bacteria that could be a big benefit to your health. In fact, both conventional and organic apples contain a whopping 100 million bacteria!
This makes apples a great choice if you want to take in bacteria that could keep you healthy – if you follow the advice you’ll find in the next sections… especially the one that reveals we’ve been eating apples the wrong way!
#2 – Diversity for the win
The team also found that despite the similar number of bacteria found on the fruits, hands-down, organic apples win when it comes to microbial diversity.
“Freshly harvested, organically managed apples harbor a significantly more diverse, more even and distinct bacterial community, compared to conventional ones,” explained study senior author, Professor Gabriele Berg, of Graz University of Technology, Austria. “This variety and balance would be expected to limit overgrowth of any one species, and previous studies have reported a negative correlation between human pathogen abundance and microbiome diversity of fresh produce.”
In other words, the diverse bacteria found in organic apples could keep the bad bacteria in your gut from crowding out the good and leading to disease.
#3 – Good versus bad bacteria
They even discovered that specific groups of bacteria known for causing illness were found only on conventional apples but not organic apples.
“Escherichia-Shigella — an infectious bacterium responsible for foodborne illnesses — was found in most of the conventional apple samples, but none from organic apples,” said Berg. “For beneficial Lactobacilli — of probiotic fame — the reverse was true.”
This means that those 100 million bacteria on conventional apples could help to make you sick while the bacteria found on organic apples could work to ward off disease.
#4 – The power of the core
And, they discovered one more weird fact…
The majority of the bacteria that can help to keep you healthy are in the seeds, with the flesh accounting for most of the remainder. If you discard the core, like we’ve all been taught to do, your intake falls to closer to 10 million than that 100 million.
If you want to harness all of the power an apple has to offer in boosting your gut health and keeping you free of chronic diseases and health problems, you need to eat the core too!
Yep, it turns out we’ve been eating them wrong… all because of an apple seed myth.
Yes, apple seeds are a source of cyanide. But let’s put that into perspective…
Apple seeds contain amygdalin, a glycoside that releases hydrogen cyanide when it is crushed or chewed when eaten. But, according to many online medical and scientific sources, a 150-pound adult would have to consume about 100 grams of apple seeds (about 143 seeds) to be in danger.
The seeds are tough, too, and don’t digest that well, unless very well chewed. Quartering a whole apple and throwing it into a blender with other smoothie ingredients, could remedy that situation.
So, pick up an apple today and start getting gut healthy. Just make sure that it’s organic!
Editor’s note: Did you know that when you take your body from acid to alkaline you can boost your energy, lose weight, soothe digestion, avoid illness and achieve wellness? Click here to discover The Alkaline Secret to Ultimate Vitality and revive your life today!
- 11 Health Problems That Start From Poor Gut Health — Dr. Will Cole
- Impacts of Gut Bacteria on Human Health and Diseases — International Journal of Molecular Sciences
- An apple carries about 100 million bacteria — good luck washing them off — EurekAlert!