Perhaps the forbidden fruit was a Granny Smith apple. After all, Adam and Eve seemed to stay pretty slim even after being banished from the Garden of Eden, a trigger for emotional over-eating if there ever was one. New research suggests the tart, green variety of apples contains compounds that may help prevent disorders associated with obesity.
Scientists at Washington State University found that eating the Grannies keeps the colon happy because the non-digestible fiber and polyphenols in that variety of apple keep the bacteria in the colon happy. When the colon’s happy, more friendly bacteria grow, preventing the chronic inflammation and metabolic disorders associated with obesity, according to a release from the University.
In terms of these healthy non-digestible compounds, the Grannies blew away other varieties like Braeburn, Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, McIntosh and Red Delicious. While “We’re more non-digestible!” may not be the next advertising slogan for Granny Smiths, “results from this study will help consumers to discriminate between apple varieties that can aid in the fight against obesity,” the study’s lead researcher, food scientist Giuliana Noratto, said in the release.
Researchers learned about this benefit of Granny Smiths by analyzing the droppings of mice. (And you thought your job was fun.) The mice, some of whom were obese, were fed different varieties of fruit. The poop from obese mice who had eaten Granny Smith apples was similar to that of slim mice, suggesting that the bacteria in their colon hadn’t been disturbed as it would be when eating other apples. This type of disturbance can disrupt metabolism and make people feel hungry, according to a Dailymail.co.uk article about the research.
“The nondigestible compounds in the Granny Smith apples actually changed the proportions of fecal bacteria from obese mice to be similar to that of lean mice,” Noratto said. The discovery may lead to future methods of slowing the swelling obesity epidemic.
The research appeared in the journal Food Chemistry and was noted on sciencedaily.com.