An Apple a Day. Does it Still Keep the Doc Away?

Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, and Fuji.  These might all be common to you but there are actually over 7,500 varieties of apples.  It would take you almost 20 years if you decided to try and eat a different apple a day.  The popular saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” can be traced back as early as 1866.  Where did this saying come from and does it ring true?

For starters, apples are known to contain high levels of pectin.  Pectin is a form of soluble fiber, and as you may be aware, adding fiber is good for your digestive system.  Pectin also assists in lowering blood pressure and maintaining healthy levels of cholesterol.  

Now let’s talk free radicals. These are substances that build up in your system in response to any kind of stress: injuries, illness, emotional stress, and environmental stress.  Apples contain phytonutrients as well as quercetin that are helpful for reducing free radical damage in the body.   

Apples are also known as one of “nature’s dental floss”.  It has been said that eating an apple after a meal will help clean out your teeth.   If you do not have any store bought floss around reach for an apple.

So with this nutrition information, is it safe to assume that an apple a day will keep you from making visits to the doctor?  While apples are great to add into your diet to lower your risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and some types of cancer, the nutrients from this fruit alone will not serve to cure ailments.  Apples are an attractive choice of fruit because they can last for more than 200 days beyond harvest if stored properly.  It is recommended that you eat 3-5 apples per week and in addition you will still need to add in other fruits to round out your nutrition program and to ensure that you are getting all of your essential vitamins and minerals. 

It’s important to be aware that with an increase in herbicides and pesticides being sprayed on our crops, the nutrients in apples can be compromised.   Make your own fruit and vegetable wash by placing your fruit in a bowl of water and adding in 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.  Let soak, rinse, and then enjoy!

Although there are so many varieties of apples to choose from you may become slightly bored with crunching into the same fruit every day.  Here are three recipes you might enjoy:

Stewed Apples

1 whole apple

5 whole cloves

¼ cup water

Dice apple.  Add apple and cloves to water in a pot.  Set on low to medium heat and cook for 45 minutes or until the apples are tender.  Remove cloves before eating. 

Apple Oats

4 medium apples, chopped

1 tbsp cinnamon

¼ cup oats

½ tbsp ghee

Mix all ingredients.  Cook in microwave for 1 minute.  Remove from microwave and stir.  Return to microwave for 3-4 minutes.   Let cool slightly and enjoy. 

Apple Salad

2 apples cut into small pieces

juice of ½ lemon

½ cup chopped walnuts

1/3 cup raisins

½ cup greek yogurt

Mix all ingredients together and enjoy.