With fall officially in full swing, you’ve probably noticed an explosion in apple varieties at your local farmers market, and a recent study from Washington State University showing the fruit can help fight obesity gives you yet another reason to add a few extra to your basket. But, as you wade through a sea of Red Delicious, McIntosh, Gala, Golden Delicious and Pink Ladies, you may find yourself wondering which variety is the BEST for weight loss. The answer?


Good old Granny Smith. What is it about apples that make them so great at combating obesity? Modern Farmer has more: The study found that intestinal flora — bacteria in the gut — have a significant impact on obesity. Mice without certain microbes actually gained significantly more weight when they ate fatty foods than mice with those microbes. That weight gain was accompanied by an inflammation that caused the mice to eat more as well as causing them to develop a resistance to insulin, one of the early signs of diabetes.


Even crazier, when the specific-microbe-lacking flora was transferred from the obese mice to the skinny mice, the skinny mice began to gain weight just like the obese mice. In short, apples are good for your microbiome! Researchers say that Granny Smith apples in particular have plenty of non-digestible compounds like fiber and polyphenols, which your good gut bacteria love to feast on. And when you take care of your microbiome, your overall well-being benefits. Yet another example of how eating fresh, in-season foods is good for you!