We will be exploring ways to detox every day - highlighting different foods and their detoxification properties, as well as rituals and practices you will love to incorporate into your life!
This week we're looking at pectin - a particular type fo fibre found in strong concentrations in apple skin.
Apples contain one of the richest known sources of pectin - a type of fibre found in plants. Apple pectin has been shown to improve blood sugar and reduce cholesterol. It is also a prebiotic, meaning it is the prime food source for the probiotics (the good guys) in your gut.
I have personally found the inclusion of half an apple in my daily morning smoothie to be a huge help in keeping my gut more stable.
After requiring massive, chronic doses of antibiotics as a child due to horrendous ear infections, my gut bacteria was shot. As time wore on, the number of foods causing me grief (bloating, constipation, diarrhoea - aka IBS) grew.
After the birth of my first child, it began to feel like I couldn’t eat anything without experiencing discomfort. I noticed my daughter also suffered some of the same issues, particularly after lunch, which typically included a sandwich. After eating a meal containing bread, wheat, gluten - even her mood changed! It's amazing how the mothers gut bacteria affects her unborn children! We both went gluten-free for about 5 years, which alleviated some discomfort for me.
During this time a dietician also diagnosed me with FODMAPS. This meant my body was unable to digest a particular type of sugar (fructooligosaccharides) found in fruits and vegetables such as spinach, berries, apple, pear, garlic, onion, broccoli, cabbage, legumes, mushrooms etc All foods that made up about 90% of my plant-based diet.
After a long period of exclusion and reintroduction, I worked out which ones were a hard no and which I could eat a little bit of. It was at this time that I began my nutrition studies. I took the opportunity to have nutrition and naturopathic consults with the practising students. During the 3 1/2 years it took me to complete my degree I underwent serious supplemental treatment for my gut issues.
Gradually I tried testing different foods and found that I was able to comfortably digest most of them again, including gluten. Thankfully, my daughter had also grown out of her gluten intolerance around this time. I still have an upper limit with some foods (ex - definitely no combining of lentils and mushrooms!), but having only half an apple in my smoothie each day makes life much more comfortable! When I have missed several days in a row I find I begin to experience more gut irritation.
Whether you eat a whole raw apple or make an apple rhubarb crumble, ensure you leave the skin on - your body will thank you for it! And please, teach your children to eat the skin too, there is no need to peel an apple for them (unless they're a baby eating only mushy foods). Any child capable of eating solid food should be eating apple skin.