You've Been Eating Apples Wrong Your Entire Life

An apple a day may or may not keep the doctor away, but according to a new study, you've probably been eating them wrong this whole time anyway. Just when we thought we finally had a handle on the whole "eating fruit and vegetables" thing, we find out that there's a better way to do it. 

This isn't the first food we've been eating all wrong (hello, tomatoes), but something as simple as an apple seems easy enough to get right. However, a recent study by scholars at Graz University of Technology in Austria found that eating a raw apple's flesh and peel isn't enough to get all of its nutrients and good bacteria the fruit contains — you need to make sure to eat the core, too (via Science Daily). 

A standard organic apple contains 100 million bacteria that could be beneficial to the human gut microbiome, most of it hiding in the seeds within the apple core. For the most nutrition, you should eat the apple core and all, otherwise you're only consuming about 10 percent of the available bacteria, and also missing out on extra fiber and flavonoids. Cooking apples kills most of the beneficial bacteria, so they're best served raw, and organic apples were found to have "more diverse, more even, and distinct bacterial community" than those conventionally grown.

Though the thought of magical gut-healing apple seeds definitely sounds appealing, ABC News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton told Good Morning America, "We don't know yet if more bacteria is better in terms of our gut health, but [this is] a very interesting study that I hope will lead to testing more foods and parts of the food that we can throw away sometimes." One thing's for sure, though — eating a whole apple certainly isn't going to hurt us.

Or will it? Before we commit to eating apple cores and seeds, we need to know: Is there any truth to the old legend of apple seeds containing cyanide? 

Sort of. It turns out that apple seeds do contain a compound that produces cyanide. However, the amount contained in a few apple seeds in not worrisome. Dr. Ashton explained, "You need literally hundreds of apple seeds to be crushed and chewed in about a 150-pound person." That means you can eat apples, seeds and all, to get all of the good bacteria your gut desires, without accidentally giving yourself cyanide poisoning. It's a win-win!