Non-digestible compounds found in apples promote the growth of friendly gut bacteria, which stabilizes the metabolism and creates satiety. That's according to the results of a new study that singled out Granny Smiths as your best bet for gut health. “We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these non-digestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” says food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study's lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.” In the study, several kinds of apples were examined, but Granny Smith came out on top for having the highest amount of the compounds, besting Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious.
A new study has found that nondigestible compounds in apples may help prevent disorders associated with obesity.
“We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties,” said food scientist Giuliana Noratto, the study’s lead researcher. “Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”
What Noratto and colleagues found was that tart, green Granny Smith apples benefit the growth of friendly bacteria in the colon due to their high content of non-digestible compounds, including dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low content of available carbohydrates.
Despite being subjected to chewing, stomach acid and digestive enzymes, these compounds remain intact when they reach the colon. Once there, they are fermented by bacteria in the colon, which benefits the growth of friendly bacteria in the gut.
The study at Washington State University showed that Granny Smith’ss surpassed Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of non-digestible compounds they contain.
According to the researchers the non-digestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice.
The discovery could point the way towards preventing some of the disorders associated with obesity – such as low-grade, chronic inflammation – that can lead to diabetes.
Studies show that in people who are obese, the balance of bacterial communities in the colon is disturbed. This results in microbial byproducts that lead to inflammation and influence metabolic disorders associated with obesity.
“What determines the balance of bacteria in our colon is the food we consume,” Noratto said.
Re-establishing a healthy balance of bacteria in the colon stabilizes metabolic processes that influence inflammation and the sensation of feeling satisfied, or satiety, she added.
In short, apples are good for your microbiome! Researchers say that Granny Smith apples in particular have plenty of non-digestible compounds like fiber and polyphenols, which your good gut bacteria love to feast on. And when you take care of your microbiome, your overall well-being benefits.
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