Is the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” full of wisdom or full of fluff? According to researchers from Graz University of Technology in Austria, there’s a lot more to apples than meets the eye.
A recent study published in the journal Frontiers in Microbiology set out to study the microbiome (i.e., the genetic material of the microorganisms in a particular environment) of apples. In their report, researchers noted that apples have worldwide appeal as one of the most consumed fruits. In the United States alone, an average of 240 million bushels of apples are collectively grown by 7,500 apple producers each year, according to the USApple Association.
What is it about apples that make them so universally loved? Apples contain beneficial plant pigments called flavonoids, according to the Austrian research. Common ones in apples are procyanidins. Apples are also a source of pectin, which research has also shown to have benefits.
But that’s not all. The researchers also found that consuming an average apple also means taking in approximately 100 million bacterial cells.
Is this good?
According to science, the studies suggest it is. In vitro studies have shown “apple supplementation can induce substantial changes in microbiota composition and metabolic activity,” which is a scientific way of saying that apples might provide people with “good” bacteria that helps the body.
But there’s a catch. The researchers noted that not every apple is alike. The study set out to also compare the differences between apples that were grown according to organic farming practices and those that are conventionally managed.
Interestingly, even though the number of bacteria contained in the apples studied was the same between organically grown and conventionally grown, the researchers found organic apples had “significantly more diverse, more even and more distinct microbiota.” Further, conventionally-grown apples were found to harbor food-borne pathogens.
So what does all of this mean? According to this research, you might see a more favorable health benefit if you eat an organic apple. It may also taste better.
Of course, if you have any concerns about your health it is always best to speak with a licensed medical professional.
© 2019 Silver Disobedience Inc.