The topic today is about preventing obesity-related disorders. What?!? Where did that come from? No, I haven’t forgotten what I was talking about. The fact is Granny Smith Apples … more than Red Delicious, Braeburn, Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Fugi or Gala Apples … win the “golden apple” award for the potential to help obese individuals become healthier. All apples are good for you, it’s just that the Granny Smith Apples have that “extra something”!
A recent study from Washington State University found that obese individuals have an imbalance in their friendly bacteria, and that granny smith apples fixed the imbalance so that the friendly bacteria changed back to the mix found in non-obese individuals! The mix found in non-obese individuals is healthier, especially in the area of decreasing chronic inflammation, a situation that is dangerous for all, and especially for the obese.
I know … it seems that I am on a roll when it comes to the topic of our friendly bacteria! The more we understand the importance of our friendly bacteria in overall health, the more we should be motivated to keep it healthy – hey, it keeps us healthy so why shouldn’t we return the favor?
We call it friendly bacteria but it so much more than friendly. In the medical world, it is called our commensal microbiota! (I know, “friendly” is a lot easier to remember!) The commensal microbiota is directly responsible for all sorts of health promoting things (including the pharmabiotics they produce). There are several different strains of friendly bacteria that make up your commensal microbiota. The total amount of friendly bacteria is most important, followed by the balance of strains that make up the overall commensal microbiota community.
In the research, all seven varieties of apples listed above were tested. The normally unbalanced commensal bacteria in obese individuals was corrected back to the balanced pattern seen in non-obese individuals by only the Granny Smith Apples. All the apples contain many healthy components but the Granny Smith get the prize for that special something extra. My guess is that it contains a unique prebiotic that is used by the friendly bacteria to create a healthier balance.
My take-home message: A healthy population of friendly bacteria in our GI tract will work wonders for our overall health. There are lots of things that we can eat to help keep the amount and balance in the “good” range. It looks like we ought to be adding some granny smith apples to our diet. You know what they say … An apple a day keeps the doctor away! Sounds good to me!!