09 Oct An Apple A Day
For me, the beginning of autumn marks the start of apple season. Piles of juicy round red apples can be found in barrels at every corner grocery store. I love them best munched in their pure, raw form.
The saying, “An apple a day, helps keep the doctor away,” is familiar to nearly all of us. Let’s explore this tasty fruit and this interesting quote.
An Ancient Biblical Fruit
Apples are an ancient fruit. Some say that they go back to the biblical, Garden of Eden.
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” Genesis 2:16-17
Eve was deceived by that wicked serpent. She took and ate from the fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. She gave some to her husband, who was with her.
Tales of that ancient story typically insist that the fruit that Adam and Eve ate was an apple. However, it’s interesting to note that the Bible never states what fruit was eaten. Yet, I’ve always found it interesting, the inference, that the fruit indeed was an apple!
The Beauty Of An Apple
Apple pectin is a type of natural soluble fiber present in apples. Pectin improves digestive health and eases common digestive complaints. Some include constipation, diarrhea, colitis, heartburn, IBS, and metabolic syndrome. Soluble fiber from apples forms a gel-like substance in your intestines which is fiercely healing.
Phytochemicals and phytonutrients are rock-star beneficial in your body. Apples are loaded with them. These phytochemicals are antioxidant-rich. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free-radicals. When free radicals (bad guys) outnumber antioxidants (good guys), this can lead to oxidative stress. Cell death occurs with oxidative stress leading to a downward spiral into all manner of disease.
Apples And Antibiotics
I recently listened to a wonderful video interview with Dr. Tom O’Bryan. He encouraged eating applesauce just after a dose of antibiotics. Why? In a word, pectin!
Antibiotics annihilate both the good and the bad bacteria in our gut. These antibiotics act like a nuclear bomb in your intestinal tract, sabotaging your microbiome. Of course, once in a blue-moon antibiotics can be lifesavers, but we must repair the landscape of our intestinal tract after such an assault.
Restoring Our Microbiome
Gastrointestinal problems can be relieved by feeding our healthy gut bacteria. Below are a few foods that can have significant effects restoring your gut to optimal health.
- Apple pectin from cooked apples and applesauce.
- Collagen from homemade bone and meat broth.
- Butyric acid (butyrate) found in butter, animal fats, and some plant oils.
- Fermented vegetables are prebiotic, feeding the good bacteria.
A recent study found, “Apple-derived pectin is the main soluble fiber in apples and can be fermented by gut microbiota in the colon to produce metabolites with local intestinal and systemic effects.”
Leave The Peal On
I adore the wide variety of apple colors on the store shelves. They range from bright green to deep red. Do you know how to get the most nutrition out of the tasty apple? Leave the skin on and eat it! The shiny smooth surface contains half of the fiber and many of the polyphenols. These polyphenols have a powerful antioxidant effect and are concentrated in those beautiful colorful peels.
The flavonoid epicatechin is one of the polyphenols found in the apple peel. One study from the Journal of Nutrition found that flavonoids were linked to a 20% lower risk of stroke.
According to a recent article in Healthline, apples are beneficial for weight loss, heart health, lowering type 2 diabetes, they promote good gut bacteria, can help fight asthma, promote bone health, and protect the stomach from NSAID’s.
Grab An Apple Today
Bake them, bob for them, crush them into a sauce, slice them into a salad, sweeten a green drink, or just eat them raw. Apples are inevitably packed with vitamins. To name a few, manganese, potassium, vitamin K, copper, A, E, B1, B2, B6, and vitamin C.
These crunchy, nutritious, flavor-packed beauties can enhance your health. The bottom line is that apples are incredibly good for you and me. When I was a child, I had an apple in my brown bag lunch at least 3 or 4 times a week. I am grateful. Thanks, mom!
Perhaps you will consider grabbing and eating an apple today! It very well just might keep that doctor away!
PubMed, NCBI: Apple-Derived Pectin Modulates Gut Microbiota, Improves Gut Barrier Function, and Attenuates Metabolic Endotoxemia in Rats with Diet-Induced Obesity, February 29, 2016.
PubMed, NCBI: Apples and Cardiovascular Health—Is the Gut Microbiota a Core Consideration? PMCID: PMC4488768 Athanasios Koutsos, Kieran M. Tuohy, and Julie A. Lovegrove June 15, 2015
Healthline: Written by Kerri-Ann Jennings, MS, RD on December 17, 2018
The Journal of Nutrition, Volume 140, Issue 3, March 2010, Dietary Flavonol Intake May Lower Stroke Risk in Men and Women, Pages 600–604, Published: January 20, 2010
Den Besten G, van Enen K, Groen AK, Venema K, Reijnoud D, et al. 2013. The role of short-chain fatty acids in the interplay between diet, gut microbiota, and host energy metabolism. Journal of Lipid Research. 54(9):2325-2340.
PubMed: A comprehensive review of apples and apple components and their relationship to human health. 2011 Sep;2(5):408-20. doi: 10.3945/an.111.000513. Epub 2011 Sep 6.
PubMed: Apple phytochemicals and their health benefits. Department of Food Science and Institute of Comparative and Environmental Toxicology, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853-7201, USA. JDB42@cornell.edu
Very Well Health: By Cathy Wong Updated September 14, 2019