Can An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

This article investigates if eating an apple a day may truly keep the doctor at bay.


Medically Reviewed by Dr. K on 2nd Dec 2021.

Can An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

You’ve probably heard the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away."

Although the term was initially used in 1913, it was based on an 1866 Pembrokeshire proverb.

In reality, the original quotation was initially published in Notes and Queries magazine: “Eat an apple before retiring to bed, and you’ll prevent the doctor from earning his bread.”

Although studies suggest that eating more apples isn’t linked to fewer medical visits, including apples in your diet may help you improve many areas of your health.

This article investigates if eating an apple a day may truly keep the doctor at bay.

Health benefits

Apples have been linked to a variety of health advantages that may aid in long-term health.

Highly nutritious

Apples are high in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, among other nutrients.

The following nutrients are found in one medium apple:

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fibre: 4.5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Copper: 5% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 3% of the DV

Vitamin C, in particular, protects against disease by acting as an antioxidant, neutralising dangerous molecules known as free radicals.

Antioxidants including quercetin, caffeic acid, and epicatechin are abundant in apples.

Supports heart health

According to research, Apple consumption has been linked to a reduced risk of many chronic conditions, including heart disease.

Indeed, one research of nearly 20,000 people found that eating more white-fleshed fruits and vegetables, such as apples, was related to a reduced risk of stroke.

This may be because apples contain flavonoids, which have been proven to decrease inflammation and preserve heart health.

Apples are also high in soluble fibre, which may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, which are heart disease risk factors.

Contains cancer-fighting compounds

Apples include antioxidants and flavonoids, two compounds that may help prevent cancer development.

According to an analysis of 41 research, eating more apples was linked to a lower risk of lung cancer.

Another research found similar results, stating that eating more apples was linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer.

According to other studies, a diet high in fruits and vegetables may help prevent cancers of the stomach, colon, lungs, oral cavity, and oesophagus.

However, more study is required to assess the possible anticancer effects of apples and see whether other variables are at play.

Other health benefits

Apples have also been connected to several additional health advantages that may help you avoid going to the doctor:

  • Support weight loss. Apples have been proven to enhance feelings of fullness, reduce calorie consumption, and aid weight reduction due to their fibre content (14Trusted Source, 15Trusted Source).
  • Improve bone health. In human, animal, and test-tube investigations, researchers discovered that consuming more fruit is linked to greater bone mineral density and a reduced risk of osteoporosis (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source).
  • Promote brain function. According to animal research, eating apples may help decrease oxidative stress, minimise mental decline, and delay ageing (13Trusted Source).
  • Protect against asthma. According to research, eating more apples is related to a reduced incidence of asthma (13Trusted Source).
  • Reduce the risk of diabetes. When compared to not eating any apples at all, eating one apple per day was linked to a 28% reduced risk of acquiring type 2 diabetes, according to one major study (18Trusted Source).

Potential downsides

It is doubtful that eating an apple every day would damage your health.

However, there is such a thing as too much of a good thing, and eating several apples each day may have several negative consequences.

Rapidly increasing your fibre consumption over a short period, in particular, may produce symptoms like gas, bloating, and stomach discomfort.

Apples, like other fruits, contain a significant amount of carbohydrates in each serving.

While most individuals will not have an issue with this, those on a low carb or ketogenic diet may need to limit their consumption.

Other healthy options

Apples are a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, and they may have some health advantages.

On the other hand, many fruits and vegetables have an equivalent combination of nutrients and may be just as healthy.

Adding various fruits and vegetables to your diet may also add taste and nutritional value to your meal.

Here are some different fruits and vegetables that may be substituted for apples on occasion:

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower
  • Grapefruit
  • Kale
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Pineapples
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Tomatoes

Although eating more apples isn’t directly linked to fewer medical visits, apples are high in nutrients and provide many health advantages, including disease prevention and long-term wellness.

Many other fruits and vegetables, in addition to apples, offer a comparable combination of nutrients and health advantages.

Enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy, well-rounded diet for the most excellent outcomes.


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