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Does an Apple a Day Really Keep the Doctor Away?

Have you ever heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”? You probably have. This saying originated in 1866 and reappeared in 1913, becoming popular as a means to prevent doctors’ visits during a time when health professionals were feared for their medical practices.

But does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Or is it just something that was believed to be able to control one’s health?

The components of apples:

Apples themselves have fiber, vitamins, minerals, and flavonoids. Fiber is necessary for good digestion, good bowel health, low cholesterol levels, and blood glucose level regulation. Vitamins and minerals are both necessary for bodily growth and overall health. Flavonoids are used in medicines because they have anti-inflammatory, anti-mutagenic, and anti-carcinogenic properties, which means that they can help prevent inflammatory diseases and cancer.

Apple consumption’s correlation with medical visits:

Research evaluating the correlation between apple consumption and healthcare spending has found there to be a little benefit of apple consumption. In fact, apple consumption has been found to reduce the cost of national health spending, as the amount of spending on medications is projected to reduce. However, this does not mean the doctor is actually kept away– or medical visits reduced.

Harvard Medical School also finds that apples do not really prevent doctors’ visits. There are too many factors that cause diseases like genetics and the environment, and apples are not the cure or solution to them. But apples, especially the peels, are a great source of nutrients and have many health benefits.

To eat apples or to not eat apples?

Eat apples as often or infrequently as you would like. It is a great snack and provides great health benefits. But don’t forget to eat the most important part– the outer peel!



Davis, M. A., Bynum, J. P., & Sirovich, B. E. Association between apple consumption and

physician visits: appealing the conventional wisdom that an apple a day keeps the

doctor away. JAMA internal medicine, 175(5), 777–783. 2015.

Dietary fiber: Essential for a healthy diet. Mayo Clinic. 2022 November 4.

Panche, A. N., Diwan, A. D., & Chandra, S. R. Flavonoids: an overview. Journal of nutritional

science, 5, e47. 2016.

Pendick, D. An apple a day may not keep the doctor away, but it’s a healthy choice anyway. Harvard Medical School. 2015 April 2.


Vitamins and Minerals for Older Adults. National Institute on Aging. 2021 January 2.


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