Myth-busting: Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

The saying goes, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” So if we eat one apple each day, would we be able to avoid the doctor’s office altogether? 

It seems a little too good to be true, so let’s look into it.

The origin story

This saying originated in Wales, but it first appeared in a publication in 1866 as: “Eat an apple on going to bed and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” Then in 1913, the saying reappeared as what we know today: “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

The health benefits of apples

Apples not only taste sweet, but their health benefits are pretty sweet as well. Apples are a great source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K. They also have about 2–4 percent of your recommended daily intake of manganese, copper, and the vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6.

Apples make a great snack for those trying to lose weight as well because they are full of fiber and water, both of which can make you feel fuller, but the apple has to be consumed in the raw form (not applesauce or apple juice) in order to feel the full effects.

These delicious red bulbs are also full of polyphenols, organic plant compounds that offer many health benefits. A type of polyphenol includes flavonoids, various compounds found in lots of fruits and veggies. Some specific flavonoids are not only found in apples, but in all of the Vitapod pods as well.

The flavonoid epicatechin is linked to lowering blood pressure and it’s found in apples, so if you’re eating raw apples consistently, then you may lower your risk for heart disease. You can also lower your risk for other diseases including type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancer.

Consuming raw apples everyday has also been linked to improving bone health, promoting brain activity, and lowering risk of asthma. 

All in all, apples are a great way to get nutrients into your body and improve your overall health.

Apples don’t really keep the doctor away

Now we know apples are good for you. But do they really save you trips to your doctor’s office?

According to a study published in the National Library of Medicine, they concluded that people who eat the equivalent to one small apple per day visit the doctor the same amount as people who don’t eat an apple a day. This study included people who specifically ate at least 149g of raw apples per day.

The study took a look at 8399 adults 18 and older, 753 of whom were daily apple eaters with the rest being non-apple eaters, and saw that there wasn’t a significant difference between how many times apple eaters and non-apple eaters visit the physician's office or have overnight hospital stays.

So unfortunately, there was no correlation between eating an apple each day and doctor visits, but they did find that people who eat an apple a day tend to have fewer prescription medications.

What now?

Apples can’t really save you from going to the doctor, but they can at least help lower your risk for diseases that might produce more doctor’s appointments in the future. And even though they aren’t keeping the doctor away, they at least can save you a few trips to the pharmacy.

Go ahead and eat an apple a day because it at least keeps diseases and pharmacy trips at bay.

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