The last time you ate an apple, did you actually go through with eating the whole fruit — core, seeds, and all? Like many people, there’s a high likelihood you didn’t. But now, you may want to give that apple core a second look, because its nutrients are key to getting the most out of it.
Apples are a great addition to any diet. They’re packed with fiber that’s great for your digestive tract and weight management, they maintain healthy blood sugar levels, they promote “good” gut bacteria, and so much more. But did you know that the apple core and seeds are to thank for many of those benefits? A 2019 study published in Frontiers in Microbiology found that much of an apple’s good bacteria, which is critical for gut health, actually comes from these parts that are often food scraps, not necessarily the apple flesh itself.
Of course, you may be wondering: Does this mean you have to eat the seeds or core themselves to get the benefits? Not necessarily; in fact, you probably shouldn’t directly eat the seeds regularly because they contain a compound commonly found in cyanide. Don’t worry though, swallowing a few is OK, but they can be harmful in larger doses. The rest of the core, however, is fair game to eat.
But there is another easy way to put those scraps, especially that apple core, to good use: Create your own homemade apple cider vinegar. All you’ll need are scraps from apples, sugar, and water, and you can follow a recipe like this one to mix it yourself and let it ferment over time. Apple cider vinegar can be used for everything from weight loss to skincare, so it’s worth a shot to make your own. Mix a tablespoon or two in hot water and drink before a meal to curb cravings and beat bloating, or create an apple cider vinegar spray (like the one mentioned here) to spritz into your hair and get rid of dandruff. The possibilities are endless!
I don’t know about you, but I’m definitely going to eye that apple core and those seeds the next time I take a bite of an apple. Who knew?
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.