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Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away - Myth or Truth?

Updated on October 3, 2022
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An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Well does it? And if so why does an apple a day keep the doctor away? Let's investigate the nutrients, health benefits and overall reasons as to why apples are a fantastic way to contribute good things to your body. Daily.

Not eating an apple a day? Maybe you should be.

Why An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away
Why An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away

Growing up, children are reminded to eat fresh fruit as part of a healthy diet; prompted by the phrase 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away'. An old wives tale or a truth to be encouraged?

There have been many studies, nutritional and otherwise, of apples over the decades and there is enough research to suggest that whilst eating an apple a day is not going to be the be all and end all of your health regime, it does have incredible benefits and therefore is highly recommended.

What is so special about an apple? Why an apple a day keeps the doctor away might not be such a questionable phrase anymore.

  • Apples are cholesterol FREE.
  • Apples are full of Vitamin A.
  • Apples contain Vitamin C which boost the immune system.
  • Apples contain water with only a small component being sugar.
  • Apples are fat FREE.
  • Apples contain low calories.
  • Apples are fibrous and we all know how important dietary fibre is.

Apple Nutrients

Apples are full of nutrients. All fruit has nutrients, so why are apples so special? Research shows that apples stand out amongst the crowd because the benefits reaped from an apple alone, mirrors those reaped from the consumption of multiple different fruits.

Therefore eating an apple ultimately contains benefits that no other fruit alone can offer.

Grab an apple as a healthy snack, as an alternative to other sweet foods.

Research indicates that apples have nutrients which aid in purifying the blood, strengthening bones, preventing and curing several disorders and deficiencies such as asthma.

All these nutrients are incredible to be found in one small juicy apple. Is that enough to justify phrase?

Did you ever eat an apple before going to the dentist? Apples help to clean teeth and remove bacteria.

Apples are sweet, juicy and nutritional and come in a range of colors and varieties there is sure to be an apple that you love.

Not eating your apple a day? Perhaps you should be.

Apple Nutrients - How to Keep The Doctor Away
Apple Nutrients - How to Keep The Doctor Away

Did you know?

Archeological findings show apples were eaten as early as 6500 b.c.

Apple Juice

There has, and will continue to be, a lot of deep discussion and opinion regarding the nutrients of apple juice.

Drinking the juice of an apple, from a pre-packaged bottle, could see you purchasing juice from apples that are not fresh, that have been stored for extended periods of time and may be a combination of fruits (despite what the label reads).

Despite these controversial unknowns, drinking a glass of juice, or more than one, will provide you with a greater volume of sugars than you would receive purely by eating the fruit. You are also voiding yourself of the fibrous benefits and other potential nutrients which are removed in the juicing, storing and bottling process.

There is no doubt that apple juice is palatable however to reap all of the benefits of an apple it is highly regarded an inferior option, unless you can juice the fruit yourself and limit the quantity consumed.

Should I avoid fruit juice?

Apple juice is not bad for you, it just does not contain all of the nutrients you would receive from the fruit alone. Fruit juice is sweet. It is naturally sweet due to the natural sugars, or fructose, contained within its skin. Whist drinking juiced fruit without added sugars is considered healthy, you need to be wary of the quantity. Too much sugar, even though it is natural sugar, is still sugar and will add to your calorie intake.

If you are not a fruit-eating person, are not one to grab an apple to enjoy even in your busy lifestyle, drinking freshly squeezed apple juice is your next best option.

Do not buy apple juice, use an electric juicer to extract its juice, and mix with vegetables or wheatgrass to combine for a nutritional drink. Keep in mind that one serving of fruit is less than a cup of juice so to make yourself a glass or more of apple juice will mean you are consuming more than one piece of fruit; more than you would eat, and more sugar than you need. So by mixing your freshly squeezed apple juice with other vegetables you will ensure you keep the fruit sugars to a low and you will also get your much needed serves of vegetables in also.

Keep fruit juice to a minimum. Always opt for the 'real' thing where possible.

How to pick the best apples?

Any good supermarket or fruit grocer will have a fantastic assortment of apples. Select apples that are firm with a lovely aroma.

Avoid any fruit that has bruises, blemishes or breaks to the skin.

How to store apples?

Theories differ however it is recommended to store fresh apples in your fridge.

Placing apples in a fruit bowl is perfectly fine if they are to be eaten over a few days. Just be aware that the more time apples are stored at room temperature, will result in a loss of their crispness and will lead to them losing flavour.

Always handle apples carefully. If you notice a bruise on an apple do not store it with unbruised apples as they will cause spoilage to occur at a faster rate. If you find you have a lot of bruised or older apples that are now not fresh enough to eat, they are still perfect to cook. Nothing beats a warm apple pie, applesauce or apple chutney.

Washing Apples

Apples should always be washed before eating using fresh water.

If you cut or slice apples, be aware that they will start to brown due to an enzyme naturally found in the fruit. It is recommended that cut apples be eaten within a couple of hours of preparation. Cover them, refrigerate if possible and squeeze a little lemon juice over them. This will help to retain their white fresh appeal for slightly longer.

How best to eat an apple

Depending on the variety, where possible apples are best eaten fresh; and eaten with their skin. Research indicates that almost half of the vitamin C content is located beneath the skin. The skin also contains the nutritional fibrous content.

Apple Variety
Apple Taste
Suggested Uses
Apple Color
Golden Delicious
Crispy, Juicy and Sweet
Fresh - Cook - Caramelised
Bright yellow golden
Originated in USA 1912
Royal Gala
Juicy and Sweet
Fresh - Cook - Juice
Pink on the skin
Originated in New Zealand 1934
Sweet honey taste
Fresh - Sauce - Juice
Red pink blush on green
Consider to be the perfect eating apple. Fuji originated in Japan.
Granny Smith
Slightly tart - crisp and juicy
Fresh - Sauce - Cook - Juice
Bright green
Holds shape well in cooking. Australian available since 1868
Can be tart
Fresh - Sauce - Cook
Bright red on yellow
Originated in 1968 New York State.
Pink Lady
Sweet - can be tart
Fresh -- Cook - Juice
Pink blush over a greenish yellow base skin
High sugar content. Originated in 1979 Australia.
Red Delicious
Fresh - Cook - Juice
Crimson to dark red apple
Originated in USA 1870's
Crispy and juicy - sweet and tart
Fresh - Juice
Red with stripes on yellow
Originated in New Zealand 1952.

Eat an apple a day. Chewing is the key to nutritional benefits.

When was the last time you ate an apple? If it has been a while you will probably have forgotten how crunchy, juicy and delicious they really are.

How enticing is it to have a large bowl of fresh apples sitting on your table? Trust me, if you keep your bowl topped up you will be more likely to eat them and benefit from them.

They are the perfect fruit to grab as you run out the door. Perfect for a school lunch. Slice up on a plate for a healthy snack. Eat whole. What ever is your preference it is recommended that apples are eaten with their skin.

When that three-thirty-itis kicks in (yes, at 3.30pm), grab an apple. It will help with that sweet-tooth desire, and leave you feeling more satisfied.

A single apple is considered an easy and delicious way to receive a portion of your daily fibre requirements.

Eat an apple a day and dose yourself up on vitamins and minerals.

These are all the reason as to why an apple a day keeps the doctor away.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 WorkAtHomeMums


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