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Will An Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

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From Ambrosia, Courtland, to Fuji, JonaGold, Honeycrisp and everyone’s favorite: MacIntosh, to name but a few, Fall is the season for apples to ripen on many an Ontario apple tree, and there is certainly no shortage of varieties of fresh apples to be found in stores and roadside stands and markets.

Can an apple a day really provide good health?

Everyone has heard the common adage: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but one can’t help but wonder if there is any truth to it.

Where did it start?

The original proverb about eating an apple a day, which came about in 1866, was: “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

What’s so good about apples?

Your mom was right. Apples ARE a superfood and here’s why:

Mom was right about eating apples.

Apples are filled with soluble fibre which can reduce intestinal disorders, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and even some types of cancer. It has a low glycemic index, which means it releases sugar slowly into the blood stream, keeping insulin levels low over a longer period of time. Apples also cleanse and detoxify, while apple pectin helps to reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin production.

A study published in the European Respiratory Journal looked at 680 people’s food consumption over 10 years, finding those who ate at least three portions of fruit every day experienced a slower decline in lung function. 

Chinese medicine states that apples strengthen the heart, quench the thirst, and lubricate the lungs. A Brazilian study showed that women who ate an apple before a meal lost 33 per cent more weight than those that did not. An apple has only 50-80 calories and has no fat or sodium.

They’re also packed with vitamins C, A, and flavonoids such as “Quercetin” plus smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron, calcium and potassium.

Apples are also known as “mother nature’s toothbrush” with the ability to clean teeth and kill bacteria in the mouth.

Good to know

To get the most nutrients out of an apple, it’s best to eat it with the skin. Most of the vitamins C and A are just below the skin. But apples have been found to have heavily pesticide-contaminated produce, so be sure to wash an apple thoroughly before eating. Pregnant, breast-feeding women and children should avoid eating the apple’s seeds as they are toxic when eaten in high doses. When drinking apple juice, it’s best to stick with organic apple juice, since apple juice concentrate was found to contain arsenic.

While eating an apple a day won’t guarantee that you’ll never have to see the doctor, there are many reasons why this fruit is so good for you. Doctors will recommend a varied diet including many other fruits that are also good for you such as bananas, blueberries, and mangoes.

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