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Does An Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away - Myth Or Truth?

Updated on July 31, 2013

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.

(click column header to sort results)
Apple Variety  
Apple Taste  
Suggested Uses  
Apple Color  
Facts  
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
Fuji
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
Jonathan
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
Sweet
Fresh - Cook - Juice
Crimson to dark red apple
Originated in USA 1870's
Braeburn
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.

All Hubs are Original Material by 'Work At Home Mums' ©

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    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 5 years ago from Arizona

      I am not a huge apple fan even though I love fruit. I do like green apples and after reading your hub I better get to it. It is a great hub full of really valuable information and I love the apple chart. Thanks for responding to my question on forum...

    • B. Leekley profile image

      Brian Leekley 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

      Good info. I shared.

    • yowe521 profile image

      yowe521 5 years ago from chicago

      Now i am happy to finish my "everyday apple"~ i used to think it is painful to eat one everyday.

    • Beata Stasak profile image

      Beata Stasak 5 years ago from Western Australia

      Love the Aussie apples grown down South from my place, 'Granny Smith' will last forever and make a beautiful pie with pecans:)

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      That sounds incredible!

    • JeffreyS profile image

      JeffreyS 5 years ago

      I have a problem eating anything cold so I'll usually eat an apple at room temperature or I might even stick it in the oven for a while, let it warm up in there and then dig in.

      Has anyone ever tried any of the heirloom apples you can find at farmers' markets? There is one at the Union Square in New York where, comes the season, they will have a whole array of apples you won't be able to find anywhere else, like the Melrose!

    • profile image

      MelindaJGH 5 years ago

      Thanks for your interesting article. I love apples and eat two to three daily. In addition to the vitamins you mentioned, apples contain insoluble fiber, which has been found to aid in lowering cholesterol.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Thanks so much for your votes and encouragement.

    • Marsei profile image

      Sue Pratt 5 years ago from New Orleans

      Hi, wanted to say how much I enjoyed this and am trying to do it! I like them microwaved with cinnamon and sugar. I read all the hubs that were in our little contest, and I knew yours would win. I was thrilled to get the votes I did, kept thinking they didn't read your article!! It was extremely informative and well-put together.

      Congratulations on your win. I've voted you up and a couple other things as well.

      marsei

    • Claudia Tello profile image

      Claudia Tello 5 years ago from Mexico

      I like to eat apples but one a day might be a little boring for me. I know I am being too literal but the thing is, we have such amazing variety of fruit in Mexico that I wouldn´t be able to go for the apple every time. Nevertheless, I am sure that a varied diet can do wonders as well because it ensures one is getting all the necessary nutrients to keep healthy :)

      Congratulations!

    • crabbykris profile image

      crabbykris 5 years ago from Fort Pierce

      I enjoyed this article. Although I love to eat apples because of their juicy sweetness i didn't quite realize how good they really are for you. Thank you.

    • Lipnancy profile image

      Nancy Yager 5 years ago from Hamburg, New York

      Apples are natures gift of life. So enjoyed this article. I am positive that it will help many people.

    • profile image

      Fatigmon 5 years ago

      Thanks for this hub, I really like the chart you put together. I love apples and I see some of my favorites here. Could you possibly add the "Honey Crisp"? One of our family members will not let the day pass without eating an apple.

    • starting a biz profile image

      Lamia Walker 5 years ago from UK

      Excellent hub, thanks for the reference material, I learned a great deal. In particular, I was interested in the idea that apples can purify the blood, I wonder how that works..?

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Congratulations! Well deserved win.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      I won the HubNugget accolade for this Hub !! :) :)

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      No worries. Enjoy!!

    • SuperHealthySam profile image

      SuperHealthySam 5 years ago

      This is awesome! So much great information in here! Thanks for sharing the facts! :)

    • Thelma Alberts profile image

      Thelma Alberts 5 years ago from Germany

      Congrats to the hub nomination. I always love apples.From fresh to juice, smoothies, salads and cakes. They are delicious. This is a very informative hub to me. Thanks for sharing.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Many thanks Pamela..I wonder if you are like me..sometimes I realise I have not eaten an apple for a while and when I take my first bite I think to myself Why did it take me so long between bites! They are delicious.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 5 years ago from United States

      I have always liked apples and this hub gave me a lot of very useful information. Thanks. Congrats on your nomination. Voted up and useful.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Thankyou.

    • Talullah profile image

      Talullah 5 years ago from SW France

      Great hub full of information! Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination!

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Thankyou. Thankyou !!! :)

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Loved your hub! Enjoyed the crunchy information too!

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! To apples and the hubnuggets, this way to read and vote https://hubpages.com/community/Categorically-HubNu...

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Thanks for your comments and feedback. :)

    • Denise Handlon profile image

      Denise Handlon 5 years ago from North Carolina

      Up and interesting on a well worn topic. Loved the chart and the benefits listed. I am meticulous when it comes to choosing fruit but heck, I have to eat it right?

      Great hub and good luck to you.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Thank you Kelley for your encouragement. What a shame for you. At least your children can benefit. Thanks for the support

    • profile image

      kelleyward 5 years ago

      This is a great hub! Congrats on your nomination. I have diabetes and would love to eat apples but for me they raise my blood sugar several hours after I eat them. I know apples are good for people without diabetes and encourage my kids to eat them daily. Take care, Kelley

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Thank you so much MsDora. It is a wonderful fruit. Thank you for your feedback.

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 5 years ago from The Caribbean

      This is the most complete expose I remember seeing on the apple. Congratulations on your hub nomination. You deserve it. Good luck!

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      This Hub just got nominated for a HubNugget award...if you would like to vote please go to this link

      https://hubpages.com/community/Categorically-HubNu...

      Scroll down to the 'Health' section - my article is 'Why An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away'

      Thanks for voting everyone!!

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Thank you for taking the time to read and I hope you enjoy eating your next apple ~ what ever variety that may be.

    • profile image

      HealthyBodynMind 5 years ago

      nicely written, thanks for the info

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      I find cold apples hard to eat. I must have sensitive teeth. I generally switch my apples based on their price. But they are lovely aren't they. Thanks for sharing.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 5 years ago from Indonesia

      Yes, I have proven and got the benefit of apples for my stamina. Apple is my favorite although the price is more expensive than the other fruits but considering its benefits, I always try apple to be readily available in refrigerator.

    • WorkAtHomeMums profile image
      Author

      WorkAtHomeMums 5 years ago from Australia

      Wow that would be incredible. I'd love fresh fresh apples!!!! Enjoy.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 5 years ago from USA

      This is great information - I really enjoy eating apples. We like to go to a local farm where we can pick our own apples.