Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

About The Buzz: An Apple a Day Keeps the… Pharmacist… Away?

TheBUZZ An Apple a Day Keeps the… Pharmacist… Away?

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

A new study shows that those who eat at least one apple per day typically use fewer prescription medications than their non-apple eating counterparts.1

THE RESEARCH

We’ve all heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Whether your mom used the adage during your childhood to entice you to eat the fruit (because eating an apple is definitely a better alternative to a trip to the doctor when you’re five!), or you employ this mantra to stay away from the dessert table and push yourself closer to choosing a healthy sweet treat, we’re all more than familiar with the apple-doctor connection.

The study included over 8,000 adults who answered dietary questionnaires between 2007-2010 for the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Nine percent of the participants reported consuming at least one small apple per day. Researchers found that while apple eaters typically use fewer prescription medications, they are not less likely to make fewer trips to their physician.3

APPLES AND YOUR HEALTH

It’s estimated that 19.3 million adults in the United States are apple eaters, consuming the equivalent of 26.9 million apples every single day!3 Clearly, this popular and affordable snack won’t be going anywhere anytime soon. It’s no wonder: apples offer a variety of health benefits to keep your mind and body healthy.

Apples have trace amounts of fat and sodium, are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, and they’re low in calories. Soluble fiber, such as pectin, helps to prevent cholesterol from building up in the lining of blood vessel walls, thus reducing person’s chances of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease. The insoluble fiber in apples provides bulk in the intestinal tract by holding water to cleanse and move food quickly through the digestive system.2

Anyone looking to lose or maintain weight can enjoy a crisp, fresh apple without derailing any dietary or nutrition goals. Apples also provide vitamin C and certain flavonoids that help decrease bad (LDL) cholesterol, boost the immune system and fight cancer.1

OUR ADVICE

Apples are a delicious and affordable fruit that definitely should remain a staple in your diet, regardless of the results of this study. While one apple isn’t enough to keep the doctor away, the study found that daily apple eaters were also less likely to smoke and lead healthier lifestyles overall.3 Apples aren’t the magic bullet to avoid visits to your physician. Nonetheless, apples can and should be incorporated into your diet as you strive to fill half your plate with fruits and veggies during every meal and snack.

Apple Snack Ideas
Read on for some tasty apple ideas below! One more word of advice: it’s a good idea to avoid peeling apples, as almost half of the vitamin C content is just underneath the skin.2

  • Apples with peanut butter
  • Oatmeal with diced apples
  • Chunky applesauce with cinnamon and raisins
  • Baked apples stuffed with nuts and raisins drizzled with honey
  • Apples dipped in low-fat yogurt
  • “Chocolate chip cookie” apple sandwich: sliced apples with peanut butter and dark chocolate chips inside
  • Dried apples
  • Apple slices with sharp cheddar cheese
  • Baked apple chips

 

1 Could an Apple A Day Help Keep the Pharmacist Away? (2015). R Preidt. MedlinePlus. View

2 Apples and More: Apple Nutrition. University of Illinois Extension. (2015). View

3 NA Davis, JP Bynum, BE Sirovich. “Association between apple consumption and physician visits: Appealing the conventional wisdom that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” JAMA Internal Medicine, 2015: 1-8. View

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