People have been eating apples for centuries.
Interestingly, they were not always large, and sweet, and found in specialty varieties as they are today. Modern technologies allow for producing apples with specific characteristics that give them an edge over their wild, sour and small originals. Today you will find patented versions from Honeycrisp to Sweet Tango to the Melba..!
Can it really keep the doctor away?
There may not be many (there are some!) direct research studies to support this ancient proverb, but it can be backed by pure common sense.
It can be argued that apples support a healthy immune system, as they are a good source of vitamin C. However, even at a whopping 8-10 mg of vitamin C per apple, this is still short of the daily recommended need of 75 mg.
What about the fiber content? That’s healthy right? At roughly 5g each, apples are at the top of their game when it comes to both soluble and insoluble fiber; helping with digestive and cardiovascular health. But that is only a piece of the total 25-35 grams of fiber recommended in the day.
And… there are polyphenols to consider! Apples are high in these antioxidant, anti-inflammatory plant chemicals that have a positive role in disease prevention. But apples are not the only produce to contain polyphenols, which are one of thousands of similar disease fighting phytonutrients found in plants.
One might argue that those who eat apples, a healthy food choice, are more likely to be conscious of their other food choices, which collectively will increase daily intake of not only vitamin C, polyphenols, and fiber, but additional essential nutrients in the day that keep your immune system up to par and provide prevention from illness and disease overall.
A recent study published in Frontiers in Microbiology has found that apples, especially the core and seeds, contain millions of probiotics, adding to the diversity and balance of healthy bacteria in our colon. This means improved digestion, as well as multiple indirect benefits for our health such as lowering cholesterol, increasing insulin sensitivity, and even improving our mental health and mood.
This amazing finding emphasizes just how mystic the apple is, and has been; from a symbol of beauty in Greek mythology to one of sin in the biblical story of creation, to providing happy bacteria in our gut!
Adding it all up…
Our diets, the way we choose to eat, are a collection of many foods over the course of many meals for many months to years! An apple each day only enhances the chances of consuming an overall wholesome diet with all the nutrients we need to live a healthy life.
So what is to lose?! It is the season of apples, get out there and enjoy the crisp weather and crisp, juicy sweet bite of an apple.