"An apple a day keeps the
doctor away." Could the common apple honestly help a person to maintain
The first printed mention of this saying can be found in the February
1866 issue of the publication "Notes and Queries." The publication
printed the proverb like this: "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll
keep the doctor from earning his bread." Nearly 150 years later,
variations of this adage are still quoted. It's unlikely that the saying would
have maintained such popularity if there wasn't some truth to it, right? With
that in mind, let's consider some of the apple's components and their effect on
·Pectin -- Pectin is a form of soluble fiber
than lowers both blood pressure and glucose levels. It can also lower the
levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol in the body. Pectin, like other
forms of fiber, helps maintain the health of the digestive system. Apples are
an excellent source of pectin.
·Boron -- A nutrient found in
abundance in apples, boron supports strong bones and a healthy brain.
·Quercetin -- A flavonoid, this nutrient
shows promise for reducing the risk of various cancers, including cancers in
the lungs and breast. It may also reduce free radical damage. Free radicals
develop when atoms in the body's cells have unpaired electrons, which can lead
to damage to different parts of the cell, including DNA. Quercetin may
neutralize free radical damage, which has been implicated in a variety of
age-related health problems, including Alzheimer's disease.
·Vitamin C -- Vitamin C boosts immunity,
which helps maintain overall health.
·Phytonutrients -- Apples are rich in a variety
of phytonutrients, including vitamins A and E and beta carotene. These
compounds fight damage from free radicals and can have a profound affect on
health, including reducing the risk of heart disease, diabetes and asthma.
Apples also act as a toothbrush, cleaning teeth and killing bacteria in
the mouth, which may reduce the risk of tooth decay. They're also low in
calorie density, one of the trademarks of a healthy food. When a food is low in
calorie density you can eat good size portions of the food for relatively few
calories. In addition, apples are affordable and readily available.
Are apples the secret to a long life?
An apple a day can reduce the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and
many types of cancer. However, would you be able to avoid the doctor entirely
just by eating a bunch of the forbidden fruit? Not likely. Various studies show
health benefits when participants eat an apple between three and five times a
week, but all ailments cannot be cured by diet alone.
Are other fruits just as good for you as apples? Sure. All fruits are
loaded with nutrients that are building blocks to good health. Bananas are
loaded with potassium, which is important for a healthy heart and proper muscle
function. Blackberries are loaded with fibre, and strawberries contain vitamin
C and fibre.
Like cranberries, blueberries help prevent and fight urinary tract
infections. They are also a bit tastier than cranberries, which most people
only enjoy when combined with plenty of added sugar. Apricots, fresh or dried,
are high in beta-carotene.
When choosing drinks, apple juice barely makes the top 10. Pomegranate
juice, wine and purple grape juice are high in antioxidants, with apple juice
in the tenth spot, right behind tea. One of the things that makes apples so
incredibly healthy is the amount of fibre they contain, but that has lost
If all fruits are nutritional powerhouses, why are apples the only one
to be included in the folklore? At the time the adage emerged, apples were easy
to grow (and still are). Once harvested, they could remain in storage for
nearly a year. Recent studies have shown that, unlike many fruits and
vegetables, the nutritional benefits of apples remain relatively stable as long
as 200 days after harvest.
While an apple a day will go a long way toward keeping the doctor away,
most nutritionists recommend a varied diet. In addition to apples, fill your
shopping cart with citrus fruits, tropical treats like mangos, and a variety of
berries, which pack a nutritional punch. Eating several servings of a varied
selection of fruits each day is truly the best way to keep the doctor away.
GOD GRANT ME THE SERENITY TO ACCEPT THE THINGS I CANNOT CHANGE; COURAGE TO CHANGE THE THINGS I CAN; AND WISDOM TO KNOW THE DIFFERENCE.
LIVING ONE DAY AT A TIME; ENJOYING ONE MOMENT AT A TIME; ACCEPTING HARDSHIPS AS THE PATHWAY TO PEACE; TAKING, AS HE DID, THIS SINFUL WORLD AS IT IS, NOT AS I WOULD HAVE IT; TRUSTING THAT HE WILL MAKE ALL THINGS RIGHT IF I SURRENDER TO HIS WILL; THAT I MAY BE REASONABLY HAPPY IN THIS LIFE AND SUPREMELY HAPPY WITH HIM FOREVER IN THE NEXT. AMEN.