Yes, APPLES do keep the doctor away: Here are some benefits of this wonder fruit
06/09/2023 // Olivia Cook // Views

"An apple a day keeps the doctor away," so says the maxim. Despite doubts about whether this saying is true or not, a study has shown that eating this wonder fruit helps reduce the need to visit a physician frequently.

Older people often need to visit doctors given their more delicate health. However, a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition (AJCN) pointed out that frequent consumption of apples lowers the risk of becoming weaker in advanced age. In particular, frailty affects 10 percent of adults over the age of 65.

The researchers looked at the diets and frailty status of 1,701 participants for a period of 12 years. They noticed that 13.2 percent of participants about 224 people – became frail over the study period.

However, further analysis revealed that those who consumed an extra 10 milligrams (mg) of active compounds in fruit daily had a 20 percent lower chance of becoming frail and weak. These compounds, called flavonols, are linked to a variety of health benefits. The extra 10 mg of flavonols can be found in a medium-sized apple, the researchers noted.

The study authors zoomed in on one particular flavonol called quercetin, which they said had the strongest link with frailty prevention. Quercetin is found in a range of fruits and vegetables such as apples, dark berries, citrus fruits, onions, parsley and sage.

"Higher quercetin intake was the flavonoid that had the strongest association with frailty prevention," noted study co-author Dr. Shivani Sahni. "This data suggests that there may be particular sub-classes of flavonoids that have the most potential as a dietary strategy for frailty prevention."


Apples are among the most consumed fruits in the Western world. Over 7,000 cultivated varieties exist, with American farmers growing more than 2,000 for them. Some can be eaten as they are, and some can be mixed into other dishes.

Varieties like Red Delicious and Fuji are excellent options for a quick and fresh snack, but they might not be the best choices for cooking or baking. On the other hand, cultivars like Honeycrisp and Pink Lady are ideal options for pies and cakes.

Apples also help fight diseases that cause more damage in old age

Aside from keeping people strong in advanced age, apples also help fight diseases that cause more damage in elderly people – with several studies to back it up.

A study published in Nutrients mentioned that certain compounds in apples that the body easily absorbs are responsible for the fruit's benefits. It also indicated that soluble fiber and compounds from the apple that reach the gut serve as food for beneficial microorganisms there, helping prevent heart disease in the process.

"Readily-absorbed polyphenols … may be responsible for some of the health effects [of apples]," the study authors wrote. "Larger polyphenol molecules … together with pectin, the main soluble fiber in apples, reach the colon and undergo extensive bioconversion by colonic microbiota."

A random clinical trial, the results of which were published October 2017 in Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, noted how plant compounds in apples reduce inflammation and protect heart health. According to that paper, the flavonoids in apples target the circulatory system through the blood vessels.

The researchers noted that apple consumption "improves endothelial function, blood pressure and arterial stiffness in individuals at risk for cardiovascular diseases." However, they emphasized that apples should be consumed with the skins on for maximum benefit.

Meanwhile, a meta-analysis published July 2013 in the British Medical Journal looked at the connection between fruit consumption and Type 2 diabetes (T2D). It examined almost 180,000 study participants from three separate papers who were free of major chronic diseases at baseline.

The authors noted that eating fruits – particularly blueberries, grapes, and apples – is significantly associated with a lower T2D risk. In contrast, they found that greater consumption of fruit juice is linked to a higher risk for the condition.

Visit for more stories about the benefits of apples and other fruits.

Watch the following video that talks about the benefits of apple peel, often removed when eating the fruit.

This video is from the Holistic Herbalist channel on

More related stories:

Eating apples benefits the heart.

Organic apples make the perfect health food.

Apples could hold key for increasing lifespan.

Eating organic apples offers health benefits for your gut microbiome, say researchers.

Don't get rid of the skin of the fruit: Apple PEEL is PACKED with nutrients your body needs.

Sources include:

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