Among the various sayings that urge healthy eating, “An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away” is probably the most famous one. It has been passed on from one generation to another and has been one of the main reasons why most of us can find the fruit baskets at our homes filled with apples. Apples are available all around the year and have more than a hundred varieties, which is also a reason why they are the most common fruit daily consumed in America.
Apples are one of the most nutrient-packed fruits, containing fiber, vitamin C, and pectin. Pectin is a probiotic that helps feed the good gut bacteria in our body. This, in turn, aids in a more efficient break down of food and killing of organisms that endanger our health. If you follow this saying religiously every day, then you are also in for a healthier immune system, as apples have vitamin C to increase your bodily response to allergies and viruses.
Moreover, consuming apples every day can also possibly prevent cancer as they have phytochemicals in them. As per the American Institute of Cancer Research, these phytochemicals in apples ward off cancer while also aiding people diagnosed with cancer in combating this disease.
Does An Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?
Putting this age-old saying to the test, researchers from the University of Michigan and Dartmouth College carried out a research study comprising of a large sample population. They tracked people who consume at least one apple daily and concluded that there are over 19 million such people in America.
The results of the study surprisingly showed that 40% of the people who consume apples do not need to go to the doctor often. However, the same was the case, with 30% of people who were not apple-eaters. Furthermore, a little digging up of the background and lifestyle of the apple-eaters revealed several extraneous factors that might have contributed to fewer doctor visits.
Therefore, the study announced not finding sufficient link to fully assert that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Nevertheless, do not take the saying wrong! The results revealed that an apple a day helps in keeping the pharmacists away – implying that apple-eaters needed a smaller number of prescriptions than the ones who do not eat apples regularly.
Can An Apple a Day Be Bad for the Health?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions at numerous forums and in-person during doctor visits. USDA reports that the current Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020) highlight the need for about 2,000 calories per day. This is ideally achieved by including about two cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of vegetables in our diet every day.
A survey by the USDA alarmingly reports that Americans are not conforming to the highlighted daily calorie needs. The report further states that this shortfall might be attributed to people choosing fruits and vegetables based on their preference and taste only, and not based on their nutritional profile.
How can this make an apple a day a bad habit for us? It does not – nothing can undermine the dietary importance of consuming apples every day; however, as a behavioral pattern is observed, consuming apples every day might trick you into thinking that you no longer need any other fruit to meet the daily dietary requirements. Also, consuming apples might leave you feeling satiated enough that you shun other important fruits.
This is what might contribute to the notion that an apple a day is bad for your health. Nutritionists incessantly highlight the importance of having a diverse variety of fruits and vegetables to keep up with the daily requirement of a healthy body.
Eating a Rainbow
Although an apple a day is still a healthy habit, it is better if we diversify our daily diet a little bit. Eating a rainbow each day is an excellent metaphor that makes it possible for you to adhere to the recommended daily requirements of calories, fibers, and other essential nutrients. Let us check what it is.
Essentially include something red in your daily diet in one form or the other – except considering red hot sauce or other processed items. Red produce might be tomatoes, red berries, raspberries, or strawberries. Red produce is laden with antioxidants.
Orange produce is claimed to have high proportions of carotenoids. This variety can include sweet potato, pumpkin, and carrots. The carotenoids help make vitamin A in the body, which is an amazing immune booster.
Yellow produce also has benefits similar to the orange ones. They are rich in beta-cryptoxanthin – which is also known for preventing cancer. A search for this variety results in corns, lemon, grapefruits, etc.
Green vegetables have been long-known for their nutrition-rich properties. They contain vitamins and fiber. You can consume peas, kale, broccoli, and spinach under this variety.
- Blue or Purple
Consuming blueberries, passion fruit, cherries, and purple grapes in combination with the apples is a good option for a healthy daily diet.
- White or Brown
This variety includes important and nutritious fruits such as bananas or parsnip. They are an excellent source of potassium, which plays a critical role in promoting heart health and impressive muscle function.
Apples are the hub of nutrients that our body needs to stay healthy. They have an amazing supply of fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Apples might not have the statistics to make to the study’s results, but they are an excellent choice for a healthy and hearty snack that does not fill you up with unnecessary calories and fats.
However, sane and responsible choice is to mix and match. A variety of fruit choices is essential for meeting all the daily dietary requirements outlined by the USDA. Sticking to one fruit every day might be benefiting you in numerous ways, but including a wide variety of fruits in your diet will benefit you more.