Does an apple a day really keep the doctor away? Experts reveal truth about fruit’s impact on overall health – New York Post

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An apple a day keeps the doctor away — really.

The saying may seem like nothing more than just a saying, but a gut health expert on Instagram said apples really are extremely beneficial for overall well-being.

Will Bulsiewicz, MD, a gastroenterologist and New York Times bestselling author of “The Fiber Fueled Cookbook,” broke down the benefits of apples “one bite at a time” in the caption of the post, listing five health benefits.

He noted that apples are a great source of fiber, with a medium-sized apple containing about 4.4 grams of fiber. Apples also contain an “insane” amount of phytochemicals, which are plant-based compounds that can help prevent chronic diseases, according to MD Anderson Cancer Center.

“For all the quercetin-3-glucoside fans out there, yes, you’ll find it in your apple! Phytochemicals have healing properties that help protect you against certain diseases and cancers,” Bulsiewicz explained.

Apples are also a good source of probiotics, he said, adding that like humans, plants also have a microbiome. The apple’s microbiome helps it grow from a small flower to a fully developed fruit.

“See, all life on this planet either HAS a microbiome or IS PART of someone’s microbiome. It’s part of how our entire world is all inseparable and interconnected.”

He added that a single apple carries about 100 million bacteria, and “scientists believe that the microbes from our food interact with the microbes in our gut — like separated family members reunited. Put down the probiotic capsule and pick up the living food folks!”

Finally, he explained that each apple species has its own individual unique qualities, but the fiber, phytochemicals and microbes all contribute to overall human health.

Even with all the benefits Bulsiewicz listed, could apples really keep the doctor away?

A gut health expert on Instagram claimed an apple could be extremely beneficial for overall well-being. Getty Images

“Apples are not a cure-all solution; a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle choices are crucial components for maintaining overall health,” Lauren Manaker, RDN, a registered dietitian based in Charleston, told Well+Good. “However, it’s fair to consider apples a beneficial component of a preventive health care regimen.”

However, she noted that “most Americans aren’t consuming the recommended servings of fruit and vegetables every day, so making a point to include apples in your diet can help meet this goal.”

The American Heart Association recommends four to five servings each of fruits and vegetables per day.

While apples definitely have their benefits, they are just one “piece to the puzzle when it comes to building a robust, balanced, nutritious diet,” according to Courtney Coe, RDN, a registered dietitian at WellTheory.

“Eating an apple a day won’t hurt you, but without a nutritious diet, it may not be doing as much good as one would think,” Coe said.

“It’s important to include protein, anti-inflammatory fats, complex carbs, fruits, and veggies into your diet daily as the nutrient profiles for each food group are different, and work best together.”

Green apple with measuring tape with pills and medicine on table
Apples are also a good source if probiotics, he said, adding that like humans, plants also have a microbiome. Getty Images

Of course, it’s all about moderation in your diet and what other foods you consume more often.

“If you are eating a highly-processed foods diet or regularly consuming cookies and chips most days of the week, you may not be keeping the doctor away, even if you throw an apple in every once in a while,” Melanie Murphy Richter, RD, a registered dietitian and neuro nutritionist, said.

“If you are conscious about choosing whole, nutrient-dense foods most of the time, and regularly choosing apples in lieu of a less nutritious snack, you will absolutely be contributing to a healthier diet, a healthier body, and probably fewer doctor’s visits overall,” she added.

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