‘An apple a day keeps the doctor away’. Did you grow up with these words of wisdom as well? While an apple a day sadly isn’t the cure for everything, there is some truth in regular apple eating being good for gut health. It is Apple Day on 21st October, so we thought we’d take a moment to celebrate this humble fruit.
Why are apples good for us?
Raw and cooked apples have slightly different properties and health benefits. When raw, the benefits come from the high levels of vitamin C, flavonoids and antioxidants such as quercitin that they contain, which can be anti-inflammatory in the body.
When cooked, it is the pectin – contained mostly in the skins – that make them particularly good for gut health. While this is present in raw apples, cooking or stewing apples causes them to release increased levels of pectin. This is a form of soluble fibre that can help to regulate bowel movements, and also provides a source of prebiotic fibre for the friendly bacteria in our microbiome. By ensuring daily intake of foods rich in prebiotic fibre we are providing out gut bacteria with a regular food source to help increase both their quantity and diversity.
In addition, both raw and cooked apples are rich in insoluble fibre. Unfortunately this is lost when apples are juiced, so eating them whole or cooked is the best way to ensure you are also benefitting from both the soluble and insoluble fibre content.
How to eat apples every day
The easiest way to enjoy the gut health benefits of stewed apples is to have a spoonful on your breakfast – muesli, porridge or overnight oats would be a great option, or simply stir into live yoghurt for some added probiotic goodness. Maybe at the weekend you could enjoy a spoonful with waffles or pancakes!
To make stewed apples, core several apples, cut them into slices, add to a pan with a little water and a squeeze of lemon juice, and cook gently until they have turned soft. You could also add some ground cinnamon and/or ginger for an extra health boost.
Cinnamon has been shown to be anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and also help with blood sugar balance. Ginger is a great spice for gut health. It is anti-spasmodic and carminative, meaning it will reduce flatulence and gas. Add half a teaspoon of each with your apples when you stew them.
If you are stewing cooking apples, the addition of a little honey or raisins can help to balance the tartness.
Find out more about Apple Day, and where to celebrate it
Crunch time: the 10 best places to celebrate Apple Day in Britain – The Guardian
Apple day – Common Ground
Want to know more?
ProVen Probiotics aim to provide the best support for both you and your health. If you wish to know more about gut health and staying healthy please do not hesitate to call us on 01639 825107 or alternatively, learn more via our blogs or in-depth ProVen research.