Granny Smith’s Cure for Jet Lag and Weight Gain

Granny Smith’s Cure for Jet Lag and Weight Gain

Granny Clampett on The Beverley Hillbillies touted moonshine as “rheumatiz medicine.” And your Granny may have given you tea with lemon and ginger for a sore throat. But these well-known folk medicines may have met their match in what another Granny, Granny Smith apples, delivers. This tart and juicy Granny makes the microbes in your digestive tract happy and that boosts your wellbeing, helping you maintain a healthy weight -- and much, much more.

A recent study out of Washington State (where else?) compared the nutrients in seven varieties of apples. Granny Smith, it turned out, contains the most polyphenols and non-digestible compounds, such as insoluble fiber, that are known to help good gut bacteria thrive (a whole lot more than Cheetos). We also know the more of those you consume, the more they help regulate glucose levels, body-wide inflammation and calorie use. No wonder researchers have also found that a healthy balance of gut bacteria helps prevent stroke and improves sexual satisfaction.

But did you ever wonder how air travel affects bacteria in your intestines? The answer is, badly. Gut bacteria can get jet-lagged too, especially if you’re eating a high-fat, sugar-rich diet. Their circadian rhythm is thrown off so they can’t do their health-protecting job. (Grab a green apple from a food stand in the airport.) And there’s “social jet lag” too -- from staying up late, not getting enough sleep and eating fatty, sweet foods. So, at home or on the road, don’t forget, a Granny Smith a day really may keep the doctor away. 

Medically reviewed in October 2019.

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