Why I Recommend Stewed apple for gut health
Stewed apple for gut health
I came across stewed apple as a way to nurture and nourish the gastrointestinal tract several years ago, and I frequently recommend it to my clients who experience irritable digestive discomfort, especially to those that need a quick and easy way to calm the gut.
Why should apple be a wonder food to the gut?
Apples are rich in a soluble fibre called pectin. People may be familiar with pectin as a way to set jam! But soluble fibre draws water to the stool, helping to keep stools soft and easier to pass. In this way, it helps to cleanse the walls of the colon, removing toxicity as it passes through.
Apples are also rich in polyphenols – these are a type of plant compound that have properties that protect the plant and in doing so pass on those benefits when we consume them.
One of the benefits of polyphenols is as a prebiotic. This is different to probiotics. Prebiotics are fuel to the beneficial bacteria, helping them to thrive and grow. Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus bacteria feed off the prebiotic fibre producing compounds (short chain fatty acids like butyrate) and butyrate protects the gut mucosal lining and provides fuel to other types of beneficial bacteria.
Polyphenols also have an anti-inflammatory action. Even minor inflammation in the gut is an irritant and may damage the gut mucosal lining. This mucosal layer is where many beneficial bacteria reside, and some even feed off this mucus. Damage to the gut lining could encourage a leaky gut situation, correctly known as intestinal permeability. If this happens, toxicity from the gut can pass into the bloodstream.
Keeping inflammation under control can help to protect this important gut barrier.
One small study on potential gastritis from aspirin usage in rats, demonstrated that apple polyphenols over a 10-day period protected the stomach mucosa from ulcers compared to the control group. It’s a small study and insufficient to be used as a preventative for anyone taking aspirin, but it demonstrates the potential properties.
How to make stewed apple
This is so simple to make. It’s most convenient to make up a batch that you can keep in the fridge for several days.
- Take 4 apples, peel and chop into pieces.
- Add 2-3 tsp of cinnamon.
- Cover with enough water, bring to a gentle simmer, cover and cook on a low heat until softened.
- Check and add more water to prevent burning.
- Once soft, cool and transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate.
- Eat a couple of spoonfuls every day.
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