You’ve probably heard many people say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. But is it true? Do apples ward off doctors the way garlic wards off vampires?

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old English proverb (wise saying) that basically means that eating nutritious food will make you healthier. As a result, you won’t need to go to the doctor very often.

The phrase can be traced back to 1866, when Notes and Queries magazine published the first-known example of the proverb: “Eat an apple on going to bed, And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

By the turn of the 20th century, several variations of the rhyme circulated around England, including the now-popular “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

So what was it about apples that the English thought was so healthy? As it turns out, the English of that time used the word "apple" to describe any round fruit that grew on a tree.

Essentially, they believed that eating fruit daily promoted good health. But is there any truth to it?

In fact, there is. Eating nutritious food keeps you healthy. If you’re looking for a nutritious food, apples are a good place to start. Research over the past few decades has shown that apples are indeed a very healthy snack.

Low in calories and sodium and having no fat and cholesterol, apples are sweet to eat and boast a wide variety of health benefits. Apples are good sources of vitamin A, which strengthens vision and bone development, and vitamin C, which boosts the immune system.

Studies have also shown that apples can help to reduce high blood pressure and heart disease, as well as lower the risk of cancer. Quercetin, a reddish pigment considered an antioxidant and found in apples, might protect against Alzheimer’s disease and provide relief from allergies.

If you enjoy biting into a ripe, juicy apple, your teeth may thank you, too. Dentists believe eating apples reduces tooth decay by cleaning the teeth and killing bacteria.

And make sure you eat the apple peel, too. Recent studies have shown that the peel of an apple contains significant amounts of health-boosting antioxidants.

These antioxidants are like natural disease fighters that also help to reduce inflammation. The studies showed that the antioxidants in apples could help to reduce asthma in adults and children.

Apples aren’t the only nutritious foods, though. Research over the past several years has revealed a growing list of “super foods” that are particularly nutritious.

If you want to eat healthy, try to include more of these “super foods” in your diet:

  • blueberries
  • broccoli
  • oats
  • oranges
  • salmon
  • spinach
  • turkey
  • yogurt
 

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