If you’re asking yourself are apples paleo friendly, then hopefully this guide will be able to help you out. We take a look at the health benefits, issues with apples and anything else that you need to know before incorporating this yummy fruit into your diet. This ingredient is particularly popular in many breakfast and dinner recipes.
Our Paleolithic ancestors had seasonal access to all sorts of fruits and vegetables, including apples. Wild apples that grew on trees thousands of years ago were significantly different from the apples that we cultivate in orchards today. The apples that we find in supermarkets have been selectively bred over the years to be bigger and sweeter than their small, sour ancestors. Most of the fruits and vegetables that we eat today look very different from their ancient counterparts.
Fruit for our nomadic, hunter-gatherer ancestors would have been a relatively small part of their diet. The ancient fruit was small, difficult to reach, and fairly sour.
While nomads no doubt enjoyed fruits and berries on a semi-regular basis, this was probably a minor part of their diet that was highly dependent on the seasons. It wasn’t until we started cultivating fruits such as apples by hand that they became sweeter and more plentiful. Even though the apples we eat today are different than those found thousands of years ago, they’re still considered Paleo-friendly.
The Fructose Problem
Glucose is your body’s preferred fuel source and can provide energy to all of your cells. Your brain cells in, particular, use a lot of energy, so eating enough glucose is important for both your physical and mental health. Glucose is an efficient energy source that can be stored in the liver or in muscles as glycogen to use for energy later on. If we have to wait a long time between meals, our body can use stored glycogen to keep us going.
Apples contain some glucose, but they contain even more fructose. This sugar is more difficult for your body to use and must be metabolized by the liver, much like alcohol or poison. Too much fructose in your diet can overwork your liver, leading to insulin resistance or fatty liver disease.
Consuming large amounts of fructose can also lead to other health problems including diabetes, obesity and digestive complications. While the fructose content of apples doesn’t necessarily exclude them from being Paleo-friendly, those who are dieting to lose weight may want to avoid high-fructose fruits such as apples until their weight has stabilized.
Apples certainly aren’t unhealthy, despite their high fructose content. Apples are nutritionally dense and packed with antioxidants that work to fight age-related oxidative damage. Eating an apple can help you to reach your daily target of vitamin C, which is essential for the growth and repair of all cells, along with other minerals such as calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
You can also find plenty of dietary fiber in apples. Dietary fiber offers many health benefits such as improved weight loss and relief from gastrointestinal stress. Foods that are rich in dietary fiber will also leave you feeling full and satisfied for longer between each meal.
So Are Apples Paleo Friendly?
While apples shouldn’t make up the bulk of your diet, they are a healthy and Paleo friendly ingredient that can be enjoyed in moderation. You can find all sorts of essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in apples that help to keep your body in working order. Our Paleolithic ancestors most likely enjoyed the occasional apple as a treat, and there’s no reason that you shouldn’t as well.
Using apple’s you’re able to make some delicious paleo-friendly baked goods such as a paleo apple crisp, baked apples and much more. You will find that there is a surprisingly good amount of paleo friendly apple recipes that you can try out.
Hopefully, this guide has helped answer the question “are apples paleo”. If you’re curious about other ingredients, then be sure to check out our section on paleo ingredients.