Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

Madison Hummel, Reporter

We have all heard the saying “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but is that statement actually true? Obviously, it can’t mean that eating one apple every single day will cure all of life’s injuries and illnesses, but does an apple a day help your health? If so, to what extent?

Firstly, in order to understand why this phrase originated, we must look at when it was created. The phrase was first mentioned in February 1866 in Wales as part of a magazine issue called “Notes and Queries”. The paragraph in which it was mentioned stated “A Pembrokeshire proverb. Eat an apple upon going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

Contrastingly, historian Elizabeth Wright in 1913 found earlier recordings of this phrase.  The phrase actually read (in Devonian dialect) “ait a happle gwain to bed, an’ you’ll make the doctor beg his bread.” When it comes to Old English, some terms used today were used differently a hundred years ago. Thus, whenever “apple” is mentioned, Old English refers to any sort of fruit.

So, if the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” is used literally, then to what aspects can it be applied? Apples have been known to hinder tooth decay, as they kill bacteria and cleanse the teeth. Also, apples contain quercetin, a plant pigment that may help protect against Alzheimer’s disease and other neurogenetic disorders.

Remarkably, apples can somewhat help people from visiting the doctor often. However, a well balanced diet is key to keeping a healthy mind and body overall.