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Can Eating an Apple a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

People Who Eat an Apple a Day Might Have Better Health

We have all heard the old saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but does it really?

An apple is a sweet edible fruit produced by an apple tree. They are among the world’s most popular fruits and are usually eaten raw but can also be used in various recipes, drinks, and juices.

What Apples Heal:

  • Alzheimer’s disease

  • Colon cancer

  • High blood pressure

  • Weight gain

  • Blood sugar swings

  • Heart disease

  • High cholesterol

  • Teeth and gums

How Apples Can Harm:

  • Pesticides residues

  • Bacterial infection

  • Allergies

Apples make the perfect snack because they are portable, flavorful, and highly nutritious. In addition to vitamin C, the average apple contains only 80 calories and 3 to 5 grams of fiber.

Health Benefits

Protects Against Alzheimer’s Disease

Apples can reduce your risk of getting Alzheimer’s disease. They contain a powerful antioxidant called quercetin and studies suggest it might protect your brain cells from degenerating. Also, when you eat an apple, make sure to eat the skin as well, because it is rich in important disease-fighting compounds.

Helps to Prevent Colon Cancer

According to one study, when the natural fiber in apples ferments in the colon, they produce chemicals that help combat the formation of cancer cells.  Additional studies have also shown that one kind of apple antioxidant, called procyanidins, activated a series of cell signals that resulted in cancer death.

Prevents High Blood Pressure

Studies show that adults who eat apples are 37% less likely to develop hypertension.

Helps You to Maintain a Healthy Weight

Apples are loaded with fiber and water so you stay feeing full.  In addition, research from Washington State and Brazil indicate that people who eat at least three apples or pears a day lose weight.

Balances Out Your Blood Sugar

Apples are jam packed with soluble fiber which slows the digestion of food and the entry of glucose into the bloodstream.  One study showed that women who ate at least one apple a day were 28% less likely to develop diabetes compared to those who ate none.

Fends Off Heart Disease

Apples are rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids that help to prevent heart disease, that is, if you eat the skin!

Fights High Cholesterol

Because apples are low in calories and high in the soluble fiber pectin, they help to lower the LDL blood cholesterol levels in the blood which can damage the arteries.

Promotes Good Dental Hygiene

Apples are known as “Nature’s Toothbrush”.  They don’t actually clean the teeth, but they do stimulate the gums from the chewing and biting, and the sweetness from the apple promotes an increased flow of saliva, which lowers the levels of bacteria in the mouth and thus reduces the chance of tooth decay.

Health Risks


Apples are grown in most temperate climates and are vulnerable to worms, scale, and other insects.  They are usually sprayed with pesticides several times.  You should always wash your apples before eating them.  Some experts even suggests peeling them, especially if they are coated in wax.  The wax itself is not the problem, but it could prevent any pesticide residues from being washed off.

Bacterial and Other Infections

People who have consumed unpasteurized apple juice or apple cider have become ill with Escherichia coli (E. coli) and cryptosporidium.  While the risk of becoming sick from these products are low, children, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems are at greater risk and should take precautions such as only drinking pasteurized cider or juice.  Most supermarkets and grocery stores sell pasteurized drinks.  You should always read the label before purchasing or drinking.  Be careful when you purchase apple juice or cider from the roadside, country fairs, or when visiting the local orchards.


Dried apples often contain sulfur dioxide to preserve moistness and color.  This can sometimes trigger an allergic reaction in susceptible people.

Buying Tips

Choose smaller apples when buying. Larger apples ripen faster and may already be on their way out.

Purchase apples that are firm with no spots and avoid apples that are discolored for their variety.

Fun Facts

  1. Have you ever wondered why apples don’t sink during bobbing contests?  It’s because one-quarter of an apple’s volume is air!

  2. Dried apples are less likely to promote tooth decay than other dried fruits.

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2.  Gould2008-04-01T11:01:01+01:00, L. (2008, April 1). Apples could help prevent colon cancer. Fruitnet.

3.  Berkoff, F., & Schwarcz, J. (2001). Foods that harm, foods that heal. Reader’s Digest.


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