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An Apple a Day Keeps the Doctor Away

Posted on 09/9/2014

I never much liked the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” I didn’t want to keep the doctor away…after all, my doctor for many years was my late husband, Kelly.

So, every time I heard that saying, I’d always laugh a little to myself. Seemed funny to me, not quite fitting to me personally. Although as a registered nurse, I understood the meaning behind it.

I know Kelly was a firm believer in what the message meant, “Eat your fruits and vegetables every day to be healthy and keep diseases at bay.”

Wasn’t it going against so-called job security for him to say such things? Sure, but in his heart of hearts, he truly believed it and knew it was best for his patients. So, yes, he said it more times than I can recall.

He was always thinking about the best interest of his patients, not his own interest. Medicine in those days was about caring for patients, not about big business and making money. People got into medicine to care for people, to help them.

And, guess what? Turns out, Kelly was right about yet another thing….an apple a day does keep the doctor away. A new study recently came out and confirms this old saying. I’ll just chalk it up to yet another one of his commonsense approaches in the “right” column and confirmed by science many, many years later.

I always delight in reading a new study or hearing about it on the news. It’s great the media is really getting the word out these days about health-related studies. More times than I can count, it confirms a belief I had long held or one that Kelly had regarding nutrition and health. Much of it seems to be commonsense and almost goes without question, but science needs to confirm it and prove it with studies. Those studies are then published in medical journals and if the findings are striking enough, read by people all over the country and sometimes all over the world.

I’m so glad Kelly thought enough of his patient’s health to utter those words, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” He was so wise and well before his time in his thinking and counseling of patients. Case in point…

Recently, a seven-year study unveiled that daily fruit consumption (such as an apple) cuts the risk of cardiovascular disease by 40 percent! The study involved nearly a half a million people, all of whom had no history of the disease and were not taking medications for hypertension. Daily fruit consumption lowered both types of blood pressure -- systolic blood pressure by 3.4 points and lowered diastolic by 4.1 points.

Another analysis looked at the mortality rate related to fruit consumption and in 61,000 patients who were excluded from the said “fruit consumption study” because of either having cardiovascular disease or hypertension. And, their overall death rate was lowered by 32 percent compared to daily non-fruit eaters.

Pretty remarkable, huh? Guess the old saying is right and so too was Kelly!

The findings of the study were presented at the European Society of Cardiology Congress in Barcelona last week.


Seattle Sutton, BSN, RN

She made healthy eating her mission in life long before anyone else did, in hopes of helping her own obese father. A registered nurse by training and entrepreneur at heart, she lives, eats and breathes everything about healthy eating and helping to improve people’s eating habits and overall health. She enjoys never having to bother with grocery shopping, cooking and counting calories. Her favorite SSHE meal, although it’s hard to pick just one, is the Potato Gnocchi with Basil Pesto Sauce.

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