Does an apple a day keeps the doctor away?

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Short and sweet answer, NO.

Apples have a substantial amount of health benefits. They contain pectin, a prebiotic that feeds probiotics, the healthy bacteria in your stomach that breaks down food and kills threatening organisms. During pesky influenza season when it feels like a cold or worse is always on the brink of hitting you, an apple is a great snack because it contains vitamin C, an immune system booster. According to the American Institute for Cancer Research, the phytochemical found in each bite of an apple helps in the fight against cancer. So, while eating an apple a day shouldn’t stop you from visiting your doctor for check-ups, its nutrients help prevent medical conditions, such as high blood pressure and diabetes, and contribute to a healthy diet. A healthy diet likely means fewer trips to the doc.

Researchers at the University of Michigan and Dartmouth put the question to the test. After surveying adults who eat an apple a day compared to those who don’t, they found that people who consume more apples had other healthy habits, however, there’s no significant relationship between eating an apple and fewer doctor visits.

Apples are a great snack for the entire family. And when you’re tired at the job or looking for crunchy food to munch on, they are a nutritious replacement for junk food. An apple a day might not keep the doctor away, but its nutrients will help improve your overall health.

Association Between Apple Consumption and Physician Visits: Appealing the Conventional Wisdom That an Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away” in one edition of JAMA Internal Medicine.

Disappointingly, the study concludes, “Evidence does not support that an apple a day keeps the doctor away; however, the small fraction of US adults who eat an apple a day appear to use fewer prescription medications.”

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