Can an apple a day keep the doctor away?


In today’s society, the world seems to be on somewhat of a health kick. Scientists and doctors all around are finding that people are carrying out new habits to be healthy and exploring why it is so necessary for our health to do so.  People are starting to realize that treating our bodies with healthy foods and diets can benefit us in the long run. One extremely common myth that supports this concept is the, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away myth”. The old saying is simply enough based on the theory that by eating an apple each day, can alone prevent having to visit the doctor ever. There are plenty of data out there to prove why this is true but there is more to it than just saying it is true right off the bat.


Background of the phrase:

The forbidden fruit, as refereed to in pieces of writing that date back as far as the bible, has for many centuries been looked at by people as the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and has been the origin of phrases such us the one we are discussing. But why? What qualities could this fruit have to produce so much talk and myth. In ancient cultures, it was discovered that the apple contained many healthful properties by observing peoples health through eating the fruit. The fruit was considered so healthy, or different than other foods, that it was considered a medicine for quite some time, originally in Southeast Asian cultures. As the fruit made its way across the world it was made certain that it was a superfood. In Wales, around 1860, the first phrases related to the fruits super powers were quoted. Caroline Taggert, author of, “An Apple a Day: Old Fashioned Proverbs and Why they Still Work” which is mentioned in The Washington Post in an article concerning the matter, states that the first recordings of such phrase was by Pembrokeshire of Wales and came in the form of, ‘‘Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” This original quote formed into what we know today as the old proverb but we still are left wondering if it really can keep the doctor away and why.


Why are apples healthy?:

It is common knowledge that apples are amongst the healthiest foods you can consume in your daily life. The apple has creeped its way into the spotlight by containing many healthful features and therefore leading to a more healthful life, and in some peoples eyes, saving you a visit from the doctor. By influencing apples into your daily diet, you are helping yourself in multiple ways concerning your health. Apples are said to help flight the risk of diabetes, high blood pressure and many types of cancer, as discussed on The article goes over the common myth and explains using many variables why it is not true. To fight these many health risks, the apple is a fruit, like many others, that contains chemicals such as Pectin, Boron, Quercetin, Vitamin C, and Phytonutrients. Pectin, a form of soluble fiber in apples, is said to lower blood pressure, glucose levels, and bad cholesterol. Boron, Quercetin, Vitamin C, and Phytonutrients, are all forms of nutrients found in apples that help in reducing the risk of certain cancers, heart disease, and asthma. Apples also work as a sort of natural tooth brush in that they reduce tooth decay and killing bacteria. Apples have all these good, healthy qualities, but is it true that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.


An apple alone can keep the doctor away based on data:

In contrast to the myths meaning and theories based around it, a healthy lifestyle is comprised of eating foods and doing activities that don’t just consist of one food or choice. Eating an apple a day is of course considered a good choice based on the scientific proof of the health benefits, and an apple alone can even supply the human body with enough chemicals and nutrients to fight off diseases that require a doctors attention. In a study conducted by the University of Western Australia questioned the myth that an apple a day keeps the doctor away by proposing to hypothesis. The Null Hypothesis being that woman who ate an apple a day, or 100 grams which is equivalent to a smaller apple a day, are likely to have a longer life span with less health issues. The Alternate Hypothesis is that woman who ate less than 5 grams a day or about 15 a year, were said to suffer a shorter life with more problems relating to health. The study tracked 1,456 woman, ages 70 to 85, for 15 years. This study which is featured in an article on is broken down to simplify the purpose of the study and how an consuming apples alone can benefit the human life.The director of the study, Doctor Jonathan Hodgson, gathered liable data from the observational study he conducted by observing the independent variable, the apples, effect on the population. The data proved that the myth is in fact true because the chemicals and nutrients in the apples allow woman to reduce their risk of mortality by up to 35 percent by just eating more apples.



The myth that an apple a day can keep the doctor away, after looking at reasons and data supporting its factuality, can actually be looked at as reverse causation. For example, when people realize that an apple a day can help humans live longer and lower the risk of mortality, they are more likely to start eating more apples daily, which is cause and effect. The study as  whole is eye opening due to the fact that just by consuming more of one certain fruit, can actually single handedly keep the doctor away.


1 thought on “Can an apple a day keep the doctor away?

  1. David Ross

    If apples have the ability to let people live longer lives, it makes me wonder what other fruits or foods in general can do. Is there a fruit that is even more effective than the apple in terms of length of life? Possibly a future blog post for you could investigate the differences between certain foods and whether or not TOO MUCH of a food can be harmful. While eating an apple a day seems to be all good, what if I decided to eat 10 apples a day? Would I live even longer?

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