Sunday, February 14, 2010

"An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away"


"An apple a day keeps the doctor away" originated in Wales as a Pembrokeshire proverb, "Eat an apple on going to bed, and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread." Even though apples have nutritional value, the Old English language used the word "apple" to describe any fruit that grew on a tree. As popular as the saying may be, there is supporting evidence both for and against the claim.
Junji Takano's article "Does an apple a day still keep the doctor away" states that apples are thought to be the most restorative fruit. Even though apples have less vitamin C than oranges, kiwis, and pears, a study showed that by eating two apples a day for ten days, the amount of vitamin C in the subject's blood increased by 35%. The subjects also reported feeling better all around. Apples contain pectin, part of the dietary fiber, and when expanding, absorbs moisture and excites the intestine. In doing so, the intestine's overall condition becomes better and can more easily absorb the vitamin C.
On the flip side, Diane Kohnle's article "True or False: Does an apple a day keep the doctor away", explains why the saying does not hold true. Many fruits such as cranberries, strawberries, bananas, and grapes have the same, if not more, antioxidants than apples. Most of the apple's nutritional value is found in the skin, therefore, apple juice, apple sauce, and peeled apples lack the nutrients found in a whole apple. Apples alone cannot form a healthy diet. The only way the doctor can be kept away is by incorporating a healthy diet and exercise with the consumption of apples. Apples are a good choice for a snack, but even the healthiest of eaters can suffer from other health concerns and should visit a doctor regularly.
An apple a day does not always keep the doctor away, but it is a good snack with a high source of fiber and antioxidants. Realistically, there is no definite way to keep a doctor away and by visiting a doctor, precautionary treatments can be used to prevent the risk of diseases.

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