If you are not eating the entire apple, core and all, you may be throwing out the most nutrient dense part of the apple!
My husband and I were on a road trip recently. Since it was a seven hour journey, I packed a variety of snacks – for a couple reasons. One, to have healthy options when it came time to make a pit stop (anyone else feel guilty using a fast food place’s restroom and not buying anything?) and two, to keep me awake. Put me in the passenger seat and chances are I am fast asleep three minutes after we hit the highway. But if I have something to snack on…I’m awake.
The snack that started this conversation was the apple. My head had started to bob so I decided to eat an apple so that I could stay awake and fulfill my duties as co-pilot, which mainly consists of being awake and conversing with Mark so that he stays awake too. I’m happily chomping away when Mark says, “give me that when you’re done”.
Now, I know he’s not going to throw it out the window, because, well, he would never. So in response to my “why” he says, “I’ll finish it”. Oh really? Now…let me give you a little back story here.
The first time Mark and I shared a plate of chicken wings, I was floored and flabbergasted with what he was discarding. I felt like he was leaving enough meat on the bone to feed a small country. Me, on the other hand, as you may know from this previous post, I love any bone-in style meat and will go to town on cleaning off that bone. Chomp, chomp. He’s gotten better, but there are still times when I say “gimme that, I’ll finish it”.
Recently, I was out with friends, Kris and Harold, and we shared an appetizer of wings. I had to get a picture of this because it reminded me of the early days of Mark’s wing eating prowess. Or lack thereof.
As much as it pained me, I couldn’t very well say to Kris…”Gimme that, I’ll finish it”, even though every fiber in my body wanted to. But that would just be ewww…gross, right?
(while we’re on the subject of wings, try this recipe…)
So, back to the apple. That backstory is why I said “Oh really?” to Mark. Dude can barely properly finish a wing, but he’s going to finish my apple? OH. I. THINK. NOT. And this is where my competitive side rears its ugly head. I set about eating every last piece of flesh on that apple. And I mean every last piece. What I hand him is the bare bones (pun intended) of the apple core. I was sure there was NOTHING left to eat on it, because I nibbled on that apple core like Tom Hanks nibbled on that baby corn in the movie Big.
Mark takes my apple core by the stem and promptly bites off the bottom. You know, that fuzzy little thing on the bottom of an apple? Gone. Then he flicks out whatever seeds he can see and takes another bite. Gone is the bulb that held the seeds. Finally, he bites off everything that is attached to the stem and smugly hands me back the stem. Literally, just the stem. Really, Dude? He then informs me, rather nonchalantly, that the core of an apple is where most of the nutrients are.
In that moment I was thinking this poor man has completely lost his mind and do we have any friends with a psychiatric background I could send him to for discreet help. But since I would hate to have a perfectly sane man committed, I decided to trust, but verify.
He was right. Don’t tell him that, because I will forever deny it, but, arghhh…he was right.
According to a study done by researchers at Graz University of Technology and published in the journal Frontiers of Microbiology, we may not be getting the full benefits an apple offers if we don’t eat the entire apple. Stem and all.
Just as our digstive systems have a microbiome, apples also have a microbiome full of good bacteria. The study found that apples harbor different tissues: stem, peel, fruit pulp, seeds, and calyx. Each tissue is “colonized by distinct bacterial communities”. The study measured both the abundance and the diversity of bacteria in each tissue. The results show the core of the apple (stem, seeds and calyx) contain the most beneficial bacteria (90 million bacterial cells). If you are not eating the core, you are consuming only 10 million of the available 100 million cells.
That’s a lot of beneficial gut healing cells to be missing out on. If you’re like me, I hesitate to eat the seeds. Apple seeds contain amygdalin, which in the human body breaks down into hydrogen cyanide if the seeds are chewed or finely crushed. Whole seeds apparently pass thru the body untouched.
According to Medical News Today, depending on the brand of apple, the amygdalin content in one gram of apple seeds ranges from 1-4 mg. They go on to state: “However, the amount of cyanide derived from apple seeds is much less. One gram of finely crushed or chewed apple seeds may deliver up to 0.06-0.24 mg of cyanide. Nevertheless, you would probably need to thoroughly chew and swallow over 150 seeds before you experienced any adverse symptoms.”
I’ve never seen an apple that contains 150 seeds, but…the bitter taste of the seeds will prompt me to just pop them out as I’m eating the rest of the apple.
Apples are the most consumed fruit in the world. There’s that saying that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, which holds a bit of truth to it. We all know that a healthy gut is key to good health and now we know that most of the good bacteria in an apple is located in the core. Next time, instead of eating around the apple core, try eating it from the bottom up. I’ll still be spitting out the seeds, but…give it try!
Mark probably doesn’t realize that Google saved him from possible institutionalization.
Last update on 2020-01-28 at 16:58 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API