An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away, Right?

20 DECEMBER 2020

There are many immunity myths being banded around and this old proverb maybe one of the best known. The apple seems to have been put on a pedestal all these years being the famed fruit to give to the teacher. A staple for lunch boxes and pies in the US and UK the apple certainly is a part of foodie history, but does an apple a day really keep the Dr away?

The saying as we know it was coined in 1913 but was actually born from a rhyme as far back as 1866 in Wales which went a bit like this: “Eat an apple on going to bed and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread”.

You can be sure that someone somewhere has delved into the research behind this to try and prove or disprove the old adage. We can confirm that there is no hard evidence that eating an apple will actually keep the Dr away. If there was, we are sure apples would be our currency! What the research does suggest though is that people who eat fruit every day were statistically healthier individuals in general meaning less visits to the doctor.

We do still want to celebrate the humble apple however as it is a super healthy part of a balanced diet. Apples provide fibre, vitamin C, potassium and vitamin K. A medium apple provides 2–4% of the RDI for manganese, copper, and the vitamins A, E, B1, B2, and B6.

With vitamin A and C, apples do provide some powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, immune supporting properties which can help the body fight infection. Due to the fibre present, mostly in the skin, apples have also been linked to a heathy heart by helping to lower cholesterol.

So when talking immunity, the apple certainly does help provide us with what we need but perhaps cannot be solely responsible for keeping the doctor at bay. What is more likely it that the phrase was developed because children throughout the ages still need a little help to eat their greens.


Find the nutrients your body needs
to keep that immune system strong:

Amy Young

Alyve Nutritionist

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