An apple a day keeps the doctor away?

We know that eating raw fruit on a regular basis is good for our health and well-being. However is there any truth to the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”?

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

The original phrase, which dates from 19th century Wales according to Caroline Taggart author of “An Apple A Day: Old-Fashioned Proverbs and Why They Still Work, was ‘‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

During the 19th and early 20th century, the phrase evolved to “an apple a day, no doctor to pay” and “an apple a day sends the doctor away.”

The current version “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” was first recorded in 1922 as a marketing slogan by American apple growers, who produced hard cider and apple-cider-based wines.

The benefits of eating apples

Apples contain a protein called pectin, which is a soluble, fermentable and viscous fibre, modest amounts of vitamin C and other essential nutrients – Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. It is this combination of fibre, vitamin C and other essential nutrients that give apples their disease-fighting qualities.

The benefits of eating apples are numerous, however, the ones of interest to us include:

Reduced cholesterol
The pectin found in an apple binds with fats in the intestine, which translates into lower cholesterol levels.

Reduced risk of coronary artery disease
People with a diet high in soluble fibre have a slower buildup of cholesterol-rich plaque in their arteries. The phenolic compound in the skin of apples also prevents cholesterol that gets into your system from solidifying on your artery walls.

Lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels
There is good evidence that the consumption of fresh apples, apple juice and apple sauce on a regular basis lowers blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer, and promotes general wellness, including a more healthy immune system.

A healthy immune system
Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin. Quercetin can help boost and fortify your immune system, particularly if you are run down and stressed.

So will an apple a day keep the doctor away?

I guess we may never really know the answer. However, there is certainly enough evidence to suggest that an apple a day is good for you. Apples are reasonably cheap, available most of the year, and can be eaten raw, cooked or juiced…