An apple a day keeps the doctor away: Fact or Fiction?

Almost everyone has come across the familiar expression “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This familiar statement originated from the Pembrokeshire proverb in 1886. It states “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread”.

Although research shows that eating more apples may not actually be associated with fewer visits to the doctor. adding apples to your diet can help improve several aspects of your health 1.

This article takes a closer look at whether eating an apple a day can truly help keep the doctor away.

Apples are one of the best foods to include in your diet. They are rich in important components such as quercetin, vitamin C, pectin and more.  Studies have associated these substances with several benefits which include: improved neurological health, lowering cholesterol, boosting immunity, reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes etc.

Does taking an apple a day truly keep the doctor away?

While eating apples each day may not keep your doctor away, they can be a key factor in helping you to maintain your health. Living a healthy lifestyle however requires much more than eating an apple each day.


Apples are highly nutritious. An average medium sized apple contains: 

  • Calories: 95
  • Carbs: 25 grams
  • Fiber: 4.5 grams
  • Vitamin C: 9% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Copper: 5% of the DV
  • Potassium: 4% of the DV
  • Vitamin K: 3% of the DV
Major health benefits of apple include;
  1. Apples lower the risk for chronic diseases like heart disease. In fact, one study in over 20,000 adults found that consuming higher amounts of white-fleshed fruits and vegetables, including apples, was linked to a lower risk of stroke 2.
  2. Apples help lower the risk for Cancer. Apples contain several compounds that may help prevent cancer formation, including antioxidants and flavonoids. According to one review of 41 studies, consuming a higher number of apples was associated with a decreased risk of developing lung cancer 3. Another study observed similar findings, reporting that eating more apples was tied to a lower risk of colorectal cancer 4.
  3. Support weight loss. Due to their fiber content, apples have been shown to promote feelings of fullness, decrease calorie intake, and increase weight loss 5.
  4. Improve bone health. Human, animal, and test-tube studies have found that eating a higher amount of fruit could be associated with increased bone mineral density and a lower risk of osteoporosis 6.
  5. Promote brain function. Animal studies suggest that eating apples could help reduce oxidative stress, prevent mental decline, and slow signs of aging 7.


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Although eating more apples may not literally be associated with fewer visits to the doctor, apples are rich in nutrients and offer several benefits for disease prevention and long-term health.

In addition to apples, many other fruits and vegetables provide a similar set of nutrients and health benefits. For best results, enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables as part of a nutritious, well-rounded diet.

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