According to The Phrase Finder, the phrase originated in Wales in the February 1866 edition of “Notes and Queries” magazine.
“Eat an apple on going to bed, And you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.”
Is there any truth behind this proverb? Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional values of an apple.
A medium sized apple contains a little bit of a lot of good things. You’ll want to avoid binge eating their seeds however, since they do contain a small amount of amygdalin, a sugar-cyanide compound.
- 95 calories
- 155.72 g of an 182 g apple’s content is water
- 194.74 mg of potassium
- 4.4g of fiber – important for gut health
- 14% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) Vitamin C
- 5% RDA Vitamin B-6 – a building block of serotonin, norepinephrine, which help transmit signals to the brain and myelin, a protein layer around nerve cells.
- 21.84 mg Phytosterols – claimed to help lower LDL cholesterol
- Trace amounts of 18 out of 20 amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. Note that despite fad marketing memes, Americans are not at risk of protein deficiency. Our greatest risks are a result of overeating and consuming low-nutrient dense foods.
This is where I shrug my shoulders and throw my arms up into the air. Research on food has a lot of room for error, due to many factors. A lot of studies rely on individuals in the experiment to recall what they ate and self report. They also rely on participants to tell the truth. (Sure, I ate your apples 3 times a day for 28 years.)
That being said, apples are believed to have antioxidant effects, due to their Vitamin C content and inhibit in vitro liver and colon cancer cell growth. I’m afraid a lot of the other studies I found on apples were mostly related to storage and shipping.
I’ll have to do some experiments on myself around apple eating and let you know how they turn out. In the mean time, do you have any experience with apples and health that you’d like to share?