I love a good apple. Since coming to college, and now being in charge of my own diet, an apple is definitely a staple food for me. Most days, my lunch is an apple with peanut butter and some chocolate milk. Which made me wonder, if I made this meal a daily routine, is the old wife’s tale that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” true? Could an apple really do that much for me? I was skeptical. I knew apples were packed with vitamins but I felt like the phrase should be something a little more like “a healthy, balanced diet everyday keeps the doctor away.” Although some sources believe that no, an apple a day isn’t nearly enough to keep the doctor away, an overwhelming amount of sources actually agreed with the statement. Among several studies done was one in which who ate an apple a day were less likely to have cancer and cardiovascular problems in the future.
An important component that shouldn’t be forgotten however is the precise size of the apple. Eating a small apple a day doesn’t do as much for you as eating a larger apple a day, which seems like a pretty fair statement. Research from the University of Michigan School or Nursing recommend eating an apple that is around the size of 7 centimeters in diameter, or at least 149 grams in order to receive the nutritional value and proper vitamin intake to truly keep you away from the doctors.
But what sets an apple apart from any other fruit? Why isn’t it “a banana a day keeps the doctor away”? Well, research from the University of Western Australia concludes that an apple might just be the healthiest fruit out there. The apple, they say, is the fruit that contains the most antioxidant flavonoids, flavonoids being nutritional compounds. These flavonoids include Quercetin, Myricetin, and Epicatechin to name a few. All of which contribute to health benefits, from lowering your risk of diabetes to improving your immunity to sickness. It’s impotant to remember, however, that most of these antioxidants are found primarily in the skin or directly beneath the skin of the apple – so eat your apples with the skin on to increase the health benefits!
Although I read a lot of compelling evidence on the glory of apples and their improvement of our general health, I’m not sure if I would personally agree with the fact that an apple a day will keep the doctor away. I do believe that they will make us less at risk for cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, as research seems to be aligned with. Yet, eating an apple a day will not protect me from the flu or strep throat. It will not be not be a beneficial diet if I eat an apple a day and eat sweets and ice cream for every other meal. I’m sticking to my own phrase, “a healthy, balanced diet everyday keeps the doctor away” instead. I think it is important to have variety in your diet. I think different fruits beyond the apple can offer other vitamins and antioxidants that the apple does not. I think everything in moderation might be a better route to go. Does this mean I’ll be switching my daily apples and peanut butter snack to, perhaps, bananas and peanut butter? Only time shall tell.
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