Dec. 29, 2017

2018 New Year Resolution: Eat More Apples!

The holidays are coming to a close. Leftover turkey sandwiches are that of the past, and empty wine bottles are filling your garbage bin. The overindulgences of the holidays have us ready for another holiday tradition: the New Year’s health kick. We all have different methodologies and advice for how to lose weight and stay fit, but one thing we can agree on is that eating more fruits and veggies is key, and specifically, eating more apples. Research shows that eating three servings of apples a day helps to increase good gut bacteria, kicking our systems into fat-burning weight-loss mode.

Apples are naturally high in pectin, a source of dietary fiber that feeds good gut bacteria. According to a Washington State University study, apples, especially the more tart varieties, have a high content of non-digestible compounds such as dietary fiber and polyphenols. These non-digestible compounds remain intact by the time they reach the colon, despite chewing, stomach acid, and digestive enzymes. The compounds are then fermented by bacteria in the colon, and continue to feed the friendly gut bacteria. While feeding on the apple pectin, the good bacteria is able to thrive and replicate, fighting disease and inflammation.

It is because of the apple pectin feeding good gut bacteria that researchers from the State University of Rio de Janeiro are relating weight loss to a diet that includes apples. In a study of overweight women, weight loss increased significantly in women that ate three servings of apples a day, compared to a diet with minimal fruit intake. In a follow up study, researchers compared weight loss between a group of overweight women eating three apples a day to a group eating three oat cookies a day. Both the apples and cookies had similar calories and fiber, yet the apple group lost weight, compared to the cookie group that gained weight. The researchers attributed weight loss to the healthy gut bacteria that the apple pectin feeds and maintains.

This same Rio de Janeiro study found that the soluble fiber and ursolic acid found in apples naturally boosts our systems into fat-burning mode. So, as we embrace the New Year with health-full resolutions, just remember that apples increase good gut bacteria, allowing them to do their good disease fighting deeds in the intestines. Plus, they are naturally portable, and will easily fit in your gym bag for that next trip to the gym that you promised yourself on your New Year’s resolution.


Apples Help Maintain Optimal Weight (Nutrition, 2003, 19: 253-256)

Apples Strengthen Muscles (Cell Metabolism, 2011, 13 (6): 627-638)

Apples Improve Digestive Health (BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:13)