Are Granny Smith apples the healthiest apples?
With tall tales of Johnny Appleseed, apple cider and the classic apple pie, Americans love their apples. Of course, apples are popular the world over. (Did you know apple pie was brought to the original 13 colonies by Dutch, British and Swedish settlers as early as the 1600s?) While all apples, red, green and gold, are healthy and delicious, a new study has concluded that the tart, green Granny Smith apples may be the best for you.
Gut Bacteria and Your Health
Not all bacteria are bad. In fact, our bodies wouldn’t be able to function properly with bacteria. We have a mutually beneficial relationship with bacteria in our gut. They help us metabolize food, control levels of harmful species of bacteria and more. When your gut bacteria are doing well, so are you. A healthy amount of gut bacteria helps fight obesity and even helps to curb your appetite.
Apples and other fruit contain certain nondigestible compounds, such as dietary fiber, that are not broken down by our stomach acids and other enzymes. When they reach our gut bacteria, they are still a source of food and allow more healthy gut bacteria to be produced.
The study, conducted at Washington State University and published in the journal Food Chemistry, tested numerous varieties of apples, like Braeburn, Red Delicious, Fiji and Gala, and found that Granny Smith apples contain the highest amounts of these healthy indigestible compounds. Coupled with the fact that they are low in carbohydrates, Granny Smith apples were selected as the healthiest type of apple.
According to food scientist and lead researcher of the study Giuliana Noratto, “The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice.”
Granny Smith Apples and StayLo
Healthy gut bacteria can really make a difference in your diet success. Your health is connected in more ways than you may realize, and medical research is uncovering new connections all the time.
As Dr. Noratto states, “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”
The Benefits of Apples
Make no mistake; all apples are healthy and are a great option because they:
- are high in fiber
- contain few calories for their size
- help keep you satisfied between meals
- contain vitamin C and potassium
- have lots of antioxidants to help prevent cardiovascular problems, like heart disease
- and more!
So whenever you like, take a bite of an apple, or slice one up to put in a salad or other culinary creation. If you’re looking to lose a little weight, prevent the metabolic syndrome, improve your insulin efficiency, and other health benefits, picking a Granny Smith apple is just one way to get the best results from the effort you’re exerting.