Does an apple a day keep the doctor away?

So you’re wondering why there’s a saying an apple a day keeps the doctor away. The health rhyme has been told time and again by friends and family to friends and family…but is there any truth to it?

While it’s fun to say and let’s face it, there’s no harm in eating an apple a day, the truth is a 2015 medical study found the answer to be no. So, what is the real reason behind a daily apple being that healthy for us?

Well, according to Wikipedia, the proverb was first recorded in the 1860s from Wales and went more like this, “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”

The truth behind the original proverb actually had nothing to do with apples, but caraway seeds. It seems caraway were considered very healthy and the apple was a way to eat as much caraway as possible, either in the morning or before bed in the evening.

It’s enough to make you raise a brow in wonderment at how such an adage became so misconstrued. No one truly knows. Regardless, we’re left with the question does an apple a day really keep the doctor away?

After some research, this is what was discovered. According to a 2015 report published in JAMA Internal Medicine, eating an apple a day does not actually keep the doctor away, but it does help lower bad cholesterol.

The report says that their study, which included just over 8,700 American adult men and women, resulted in “no evidence to support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; however, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day do appear to use fewer prescription medications.”

Don’t stop humming just yet though. According to the World Health Organization, a diet that includes sufficient amounts of fruits and vegetables is associated with preventing many age-related diseases such as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

…and to resolve your curiosity about the caraway seeds – above in the original version of the apple adage – it’s because caraway seeds are thought to be beneficial for things such heartburn, bloating, gas and loss of appetite, however, WebMD says that while studies have shown the seeds to be helpful for heartburns, there is insufficient evidence for its other claims.