We have all heard the saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’
The first printed version of this saying was 1866 in the publication “Notes and Queries.” The original saying read – “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” The saying has had variations over the years but is still one you hear all the time.
It got me thinking … Could an apple really keep the good ol’ doc away? Why an apple? And what makes an apple so amazing …?
Apples belong to the Rose family of plants. Yep, you heard right. They are joined by a wide range of popular foods like raspberries, pears, apricots and almonds and are a crispy white-fleshed fruit with skin usually red, green or yellow in colour. This much I know already.
I also know that apples are particularly tasty when baked with pastry and doused in cinnamon. Apple pie = yum. But eating an apple this way definitely would not keep the doctor away. Pastry is not the healthiest food going round but it sure is delicious! Apples on their own or blended in a delicious smoothie do however have some wonderful health benefits.
Here are some other almighty apple facts you might not know!
Benefits of the Apple
- Antioxidants are disease-fighting compounds and apples are full of them! In particular Red apples contain an antioxidant called quercetin, which is particularly good for boosting the immune system and for helping treat conditions of the heart and blood vessels like heart disease, high cholesterol and circulation problems.
- Polyphenols found in apples can lower the rate that we absorb glucose in our digestive tract which also lessens the sugar load in our bloodstream which keeps our blood sugar levels balanced.
- Phytonutrients like Vitamin A and E and beta carotene found in the apple help fight damage from free radicals. Free radicals occur when atoms in the body’s cells have unpaired electrons, which can lead to the damage of the cells and even our DNA.
- Vitamin C in the apple can help to boost immunity which helps in maintaining our overall health. It also helps absorb other nutrients.
- Boron is a nutrient found in the apple that helps support strong bones and healthy brain function, protecting neuron cells against neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimers.
- The apple has B- Complex Vitamins that help to maintain red blood cells and keep your nervous system healthy.
- The Phenolic compound found in the skin of apples can help prevent the cholesterol in our systems from solidifying to the artery walls. If plaque builds up inside your arteries it will reduce the blood flow to your heart which can lead to coronary artery disease. Not nice …
- The high fibre content in apples can help prevent gallstones. Gallstones occur when the cholesterol in your bile solidifies. Fibre can also help with irritable bowel syndrome and maintain your weight as it helps keep our digestive tracts clean and regular. Fibre also helps keep us feeling fuller for longer.
As you can see there a lot of potential benefits that eating an apple a day can offer us. A lot of these benefits are based on eating the whole apple. Including the peel and sometimes even the seeds. This is why the Vitamix is so awesome because it can blend a whole apple along with other fruits and greens into a smooth, drinkable and delicious beverage without compromising the nutritional value.
IMPORTANT : Apple seeds DO contain traces of Cyanide. Cyanide is poisonous and eating too many apple seeds could potentially be fatal. The dose of toxins found in the apple seeds are generally low enough that our bodies can detoxify it. Research suggests you would need to consume quite a lot of apple seeds to reach this kind of toxicity level. Whether or not you choose to ingest them is completely up to you!
So – based on these wonderful facts you could possibly see some merit in the old saying ‘an apple a day keeps the doctor away.’ Though I don’t think it’s going to solve all of our health issues and I don’t know about you, but munching on apple everyday would certainly become pretty boring.
I think it’s one of those ‘everything in moderation’ theories… by adding more apples into our diets along with other nutritious and delicious wholefoods, getting regular exercise and taking time out to relax and regenerate, we can help to improve our overall health and wellbeing, which could result in fewer visits to the doctor’s office. Bonus!