Does The Apple A Day Really Keep The Doctor Away?

We’ve all heard the expression, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And while this saying is usually used to promote good eating in general, you may have wondered if the phrase, when taken literally, is actually true. It turns out that there’s a bit of history to this expression, and with most things, the truth is a little more complicated than a simple “yes” or “no.”

History of the Adage

In terms of history, the saying isn’t actually that old. It has its roots in 1860s Wales, where it was first reported to be a common phrase in Pembrokeshire. And, you should know, the phrase was a little bit different back then: “Eat an apple before going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” Since then, the rhyme has changed somewhat, but the concept has always stayed the same: apples are good for you and keep you from having to visit the doctor.

The Benefits of Eating an Apple

Biting-an-AppleBeing a nice rhyme is one thing, but what does an apple actually do for your health? As you probably know, apples are indeed good for you, and perhaps to a greater extent than you may have realized. For one thing, apples contain vitamin C and an antioxidant called quercetin, which helps your lungs function better. Apples are also filling and light on calories, meaning that they make a good snack, much better than potato chips. In addition, apples have been know to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. They can keep you from a visit to the dentist too, as apples naturally clean your teeth by removing plaque buildup. There is a catch, however – you need to eat the skin of the apple in order to reap all the benefits.

Keeping the Doctor Away

It’s quite obvious that apples are good for you, and you’d be wise to start including them in your daily diet if you don’t already eat them regularly. But when it comes to apples preventing you from having to see the doctor, don’t plan on skipping your annual checkups just yet. It’s true that an apple a day can help you live an overall healthier life, but you will still have health issues that only a doctor can – and should – help. An apple each day may let you get away with seeing your doctor less often, but don’t think that you can stop seeing him or her altogether.

Take the Phrase More Figuratively

Rather than take the apple-a-day advice literally, instead use it as a springboard for an overall healthier mindset. Eating an apple every day is going to provide you with a healthier life, but so will additional steps such as a good diet, daily exercise, and proper dental hygiene. Along with apples, be sure to get the rest of your daily recommended amount of fruits and veggies. And of course, don’t let a more nutritious diet and active lifestyle prevent you from seeing your doctor.

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