Can ‘an apple a day keep the doctor away’?

This phrase was first used in 1922, which went on to become ‘An Apple a day keeps the doctor away’ in the 20th century. It gives us the impression that apple is the most nutritious fruit around. While it may be true to some extent, there are fruits like banana, cherries, papaya, oranges and blueberries that are also heavily loaded with nutrients. Then why was apple the only fruit that was made part of the folklore?

The reason that this phrase lasted so long is because there is indeed some truth to it. Apples can prevent the buildup of cholesterol and can also manage blood pressure. Some studies even suggest that it can even protect you against some cancers.

According to Boyer and Liu, when the adage was created, ‘apples were easy to grow. In fact, they still are easy to grow. And they can be in storage for almost a year after being harvested. Some studies also establish that apple’s nutritional value remains relatively intact for as long as 200 days after harvest.’ Moreover, you cannot deny the convenience of the fruit. It is easy-to-eat and since it consists of 85 per cent water and lots of fibre, it makes you full without burdening you with calories.

Apple is among the most nutritious fruits, but it definitely doesn’t keep the doctor away. The key is to have a varied diet. Nutritionists across the globe are recommending 3:4 ratio diet – which means three different colours of fruits and four different colours of vegetables every day. So next time you go shopping, do not forget to pick citrus fruits, seasonal fruits and berries besides apples.

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