• Sarah Greenfield, RD

Do Apples Contain Probiotics?

When I saw this study I was like, NO WAY, this is some marketing BS. But then I dove in and realized it was legit and my mind was blown.

Organic fruits and vegetables are increasing in popularity. In fact, the push for organic produce over conventional is becoming quite the controversy. Is organic really worth it?

First thing first: What is the difference between conventional and organic produce? Conventional produce is grown in environments that are sprayed with chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, and more. This produce often contains lower amounts of nutrients. Alternatively, organic produce is grown without the use of chemicals, pesticides, and herbicides and are typically higher in nutrient content.

Unfortunately, organic produce is usually more expensive than conventional. To keep you from breaking the bank, it’s important to know which conventional fruits and vegetables contain the highest amounts of chemicals. The Dirty Dozen List reveals the 12 fruits and vegetables with the highest amounts of chemical residue. The Clean Fifteen List shares the 15 fruits and vegetables with the least amount of chemicals residue. In order to reap the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, it is recommended to opt for organic, especially when consuming produce on the Dirty Dozen list.

Apples are easily one of the most popular fruits, but they are also one of the 12 items listed on the Dirty Dozen List. For this reason, you should always opt for organic apples. Despite the high chemical content on apples, recent studies are revealing additional reasons to stick with organic apples, instead of conventional.

Through genetic testing, new research suggests that apples actually contain 90 million bacteria. Interestingly, the composition of bacteria varies greatly between organic and conventional apples. Organic apples contain bacteria that is more diverse and well-balanced, while conventional apples may contain harmful bacteria that feed the bad gut bugs. 

The apple skin has always been known for it’s high nutrient content, but it’s actually the apple core (including the seeds) that contains the most bacteria. The core alone is holds an average of 20 million bacteria, as opposed to the peel, which contains a merely 1.5 million.

***Note: it is ill-advised to consume large quantities of apple seeds due to their high toxicity. 

Methylobacterium, a bacteria known for increasing flavor in strawberries, is greater in organic apples, which is why organic apples may actually seem sweeter in taste compared to the conventional alternative. Organic apples also contain high amounts of probiotics, like Lactobacilli.

In addition to diverse bacteria content, organic apples are rich in nutrients. They are loaded with vitamin C, insoluble fiber, and antioxidants. Apples are also relatively low on the Glycemic Index, especially for a fruit. Meaning, they have a small effect on blood sugar levels. You know what they say: “An (organic) apple a day keeps the doctor away!”

If you want to add more apples to your diet, I suggest eating them as a snack with natural almond or peanut butter. It’s a perfect sweet, yet satisfying snack!

All-in-all, is organic really worth it? I’d say, yes! Especially, when it comes to the Dirty Dozen List, including apples!


Sarah Greenfield RD, CSSD


16550 Riverside Drive


Studio City CA 91602 



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