Science Says You’re Eating Apples Wrong

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away, right? Well, according to a new story, good health might depend on how you chow down on your apples as opposed to how often.

Good Morning America reports that a new study from Graz University of Technology in Austria has found that the amount of beneficial bacteria a person ingests increases significantly when they eat the entire apple. Yes, that means core and all.

Researchers identified a friendly type of bacteria called Lactobacillus, a common ingredient in probiotics which has been shown to help with certain digestive disorders, in the core and seeds of organic apples.

The study analyzed every bit of store-bought and organic apples—including the stem, peel, flesh, and seeds—for their bacterial content. What they found is that both kinds contained about the same amount of bacteria, but the majority of the bacteria were located in the seeds—you know, the part you throw away without thinking twice. Researchers were therefore able to conclude that people who ditched their apple cores consume significantly less beneficial bacteria. From more than 100 million to 10 million, to be exact.

According to Good Morning America, researchers also found that, compared to store-bought apples, organic apples not only have more bacteria, they have more good bacteria too.

While eating large amounts of apple seeds can be dangerous, ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton told GMA that the average apple-eater has nothing to worry about. Apple seeds do contain a chemical compound which produces cyanide when they're crushed and consumed, but you'd need to crush hundreds of them—way more than you'd find in a single apple!—to cause any harm.

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So, if you want to give your gut a spa day, start eating whole organic apples, y’all!

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