Monday, October 06, 2014
There is a reason why the adage ‘an apple a day can keep the doctor away’ came into existence. The mildly tart and sweet fruit contains many nutrients that are good for health. Apples, in fact, come in different varieties, and if one thinks that they all are the same, then think again!!
A recent study found that non-digestible compounds in apples especially in Granny Smith variant can prevent disorders associated with obesity.
Researchers from Washington State University found that the Granny Smith apple, a green- coloured tart apple, contains high amounts of beneficial non-digestible compounds. These compounds changed the proportions of faecal bacteria in obese mice making them akin to that found in lean mice. The results of this study were published in the journal Food Chemistry.
The study showed that the Granny Smith apples surpassed other apple varieties such as Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious in the amount of non-digestible compounds contained. These apples have high levels of dietary fiber and polyphenols, and low levels of available carbohydrates. The non-digestible compounds reach the colon unchanged despite the impact of chewing, stomach acids and digestive enzymes. On reaching the colon, they act as a substrate for bacterial fermentation and consequently promote the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut.
Talking about the study, the lead researcher said, “We know that, in general, apples are a good source of these nondigestible compounds but there are differences in varieties. Results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity.”
The colonic bacterial composition is dependent on the food consumed. Generally, the colonic bacterial balance in obese individuals is abnormal leading to inflammation and other metabolic changes. Granny Smith apples may benefit health as the non-digestible compounds they contain can help re-establish a healthy bacterial balance and provide a feeling of satiety at the same time. So, go ahead; here is one more reason to go green!