The phrase “eat an apple a day to keep the doctor away” was first coined in 1913 from a Pembrokeshire proverb dating back to 1866. That proverb read, “Eat an apple on going to bed and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” So does eating an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Some experts say “yes” and some say “no.” We’ll see today that the advantages are well worth your reading time. Here are six benefits of eating apples daily that will increase your longevity and benefit your health:
Packed with nutrition – Apples contain fiber (4.5 grams), vitamins and minerals, and antioxidants such as quercetin, caffeic acid and epicatechin. That’s a lot of nutrition packed into one food source. An apple is loaded with nutrition, but with only 95 calories. Nutrient-dense with low calories is a feather in your cap.
Lowers risk for cancer – Apples contain several compounds that may prevent cancer formation including antioxidants and flavonoids. A hospital-based, case-control study in Italy with over 6000 participants found that eating more than one apple daily reduced the risk for the following cancers: breast cancer (24%), oral/pharynx (18%), colorectal (30%), larynx (41%), ovarian (24%), esophageal (22%), and prostate (7%). According to a review of 41 studies, eating apples was also associated with a decreased risk for lung cancer. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27000627/ As a breast cancer survivor, this is another tool I can add to my regimen to help prevent recurrence.
Improves Brain Function – Why? Eating apples reduces oxidative stress and slows signs of aging. And since heart health is connected to brain health, apples also improve the blood vessel lining. As someone who lost her father to Alzheimer’s disease, an apple never looked so good.
Lowers Risk of Type 2 Diabetes – Apples protect the cells in your pancreas, which lowers your risk for this common problem we all need to avoid. According to one large study, eating an apple each day was associated with a 28% reduced risk of developing type 2 diabetes. And the fiber slows the rate of glucose absorption.
Promotes Gut Health and Weight Loss – The fiber in apples lessens the effects of acid reflux and also helps with diarrhea and constipation. It also feeds the good bacteria in your gut, which enhances your microbiome. This gut lining is key to keeping your immune system strong. The soluble fiber helps us to feel full and increases weight loss.
Improves Cardiovascular Health – According to research, eating apples on a daily basis can lower the risk for heart disease. In fact, one study with over 20,000 adults linked eating white fleshy fruits and vegetables including apples to a lower risk of stroke. Another study showed that flavonoid-rich apples known to reduce inflammation (which is behind most chronic diseases), improve endothelial function, blood pressure and arterial stiffness.
This is why medical researcher, Sayer Ji, recommends eating an apple a day. He recommends this over statin drugs and baby aspirin which both can have side effects.
The benefits to eating an apple a day have convinced my husband and me to include this food along with our cup of blueberries daily. According to a study in JAMA, an apple a day may not decrease doctor visits, but it is certainly a good idea. I believe in regular checkups with my doctor as preventative care. Nothing trumps that. But eating an apple each day might reduce your trips to the pharmacist by using this gift from nature’s pharmacy to prevent heart disease, dementia, type 2 diabetes, and many cancers as well as promoting a healthy gut. So chalk an apple up as your healthy prescription for the day!
How many of you have developed eating an apple a day as a lifestyle habit? What apples are your favorites?
For Your Health,
Ginny Dent Brant is a speaker and writer who grew up in the halls of power in Washington, DC. She has battled cancer, ministered around the world, and served on the front lines of American culture as a counselor, educator, wellness advocate, and adjunct professor. Brant’s award-winning book, Finding True Freedom: From the White House to the World, was endorsed by Chuck Colson and featured in many TV and media interviews. Unleash Your God-Given Healing was released in May 2020 after her journey with cancer and was recently awarded the First Place Golden Scrolls Award for Memoirs and named a Selah Awards Finalist. It was written with commentary from an oncologist. Learn more and cancer and wellness prevention blog and book information at www.ginnybrant.com.