I wish there was a recipe that was delicious, that warmed my heart and soul, was easy to make, supported my gut health, and benefited my immune system.
Oh wait, there is, and it is the perfect time of year for it. Stewed apples!
Here is the cool thing, the “good” microbes in your gut eat the fibers from apples and produce short chain fatty acids. These short chain fatty acids are signaling molecules, they talk to other cells in our body and tell them what to do. These short chain fatty acids are critical in maintaining our gut integrity while also talking directly to our immune system. They actually turn off and on immune cells. With around 80% of our immune system in our gut these microbial metabolites have a huge impact on how our immune system functions.
So we need to both seed plenty of good, diverse and health promoting bacteria in our gut and we need to feed those bacteria specific foods so they can do their work. This is a key part of health for all humans at all phases of life and one that impacts almost every part of the body.
Fall foods tend to be cooked longer, and include soups and stews. These foods are often more gentle on the digestive tract as they are easier to break down. People with digestive issues often benefit from from cooking their foods a bit before they eat. Some of the most therapeutic diets for gut health include only cooked and soupy foods while the gut heals.
Check out my impromptu youtube video about why I love stewed apples for gut and immune health below.
I get to work with a lot of people that have gut issues, hormone issues, problems with energy, headaches, anxiety, sleep, etc. Doing deep work to improve the integrity of the gut and the diversity of healthy bacteria can impact all of these areas as the microbiome again, impacts so many if not all body systems.
How can you impact this?
One easy way to do this is to eating foods with specific fibers that support healthy bacteria in the gut! Stewed apples, homemade hummus, and my morning psyllium/flax drink are powerful ways to do this. But eating more quantity of and more diverse fiber from any fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, or legumes is great too. You know, the rainbow.
Eat up! Janel
Watch my instructional video about how to make stewed apples (from The Healing Foods Club and Foundations of Health)
Recipe For Delicious and Easy Stewed Apples-
- 6 Apples (sweet variety so you don’t need sweetener, organic )
- 1/2 cupWater
- 1/2 cupOrganic Raisins (optional addition for sweetness and fiber)
- 2 1/2 tsps Cinnamon
- 1 tbsp Ground Flax Seed
- 1 tbsp Chia Seeds ((or hemp seeds, sunflower, pumpkin, walnuts, etc))
- 1 tbsp Mct Oil
- Peel, core, and slice apples
- Place all ingredients in saucepan and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes, give or take.
- Cook until soft
- Smash or crush the apples together with cinnamon and raisins if adding.
- Scoop desired amount into bowl. Eat warm or chill in fridge and enjoy cold.
- Optional- Add MCT oil and mix up. Sprinkle ground flax and ground chia or other boosters on top. ENJOY (your gut will too)
Research and References
- Gonçalves P, Araújo JR, Di Santo JP. A Cross-Talk Between Microbiota-Derived Short-Chain Fatty Acids and the Host Mucosal Immune System Regulates Intestinal Homeostasis and Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Inflamm Bowel Dis. 2018 Feb 15;24(3):558-572. doi: 10.1093/ibd/izx029. PMID: 29462379.
- Morrison DJ, Preston T. Formation of short chain fatty acids by the gut microbiota and their impact on human metabolism. Gut Microbes. 2016;7(3):189-200. doi:10.1080/19490976.2015.1134082
- Davani-Davari D, Negahdaripour M, Karimzadeh I, et al. Prebiotics: Definition, Types, Sources, Mechanisms, and Clinical Applications. Foods. 2019;8(3):92. Published 2019 Mar 9. doi:10.3390/foods8030092
- Great podcast interviewing microbiome research and gut expert Kiran Krishnan on immune health and the gut
Janel Ferrin Anderson NC FNLP
Hello! I am a functional medicine nutritionist and helping people understand how food and lifestyle impact health and physiology is my jam. I work with people one on one and in group settings to optimize health. Learn more about me here