It may not feel like it yet, but autumn is just around the corner. For many of us in the Midwest, that means the start of apple-picking season, among other things. Your Overland Park dentist loves apples, and we don’t know many people who would disagree! Sure, applesauce and apple pie are nice sometimes, but there’s really no need to add sugar to apples since they’re already naturally sweet.
Of course, we’ve all heard the old proverb “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This saying, which is generally agreed to be of Welsh origin, dates at least as far back as the mid-19th century. Its first printed mention was probably in the February 1866 edition of Notes and Queries. It is generally agreed to mean that eating plenty of fruits and vegetables (including apples) has health benefits that will help you avoid needing to see the doctor, not that apples repel doctors like garlic repels vampires. (We can speak from experience and tell you that’s not the case.)
Is there any truth to the saying? Well, yes and no. Apples have been listed as one of the seven best foods for your teeth by the American Dental Association (ADA), and they were ranked first in Medical News Today‘s featured article on the top 10 healthy foods. But they’re also not the “miracle food” that the saying might imply. First, let’s look at some of the benefits of eating apples.
- • Apples, along with carrots and celery, have been called “nature’s toothbrush.” They are crunchy and fibrous, they literally “scrub” your teeth while you eat them, and they help stimulate saliva, which is your mouth’s first line of defense.
- • Apples are about 85% water by weight, which makes them high in fiber and low in calories. They’re great for your diet! Plus, eating a high-fiber diet can help with your digestive health and your cholesterol.
- • Apples contain around 15% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamin C. This vitamin is most commonly associated with strengthening your immune system, but Vitamin C does a lot more, including helping keep your gums healthy.
- • Apples also contain potassium, which helps strengthen bones!
The sad fact is, there’s no one “magic” food that will keep you healthy. Good health comes from a combination of all the different things that you do. Even with all the health benefits that come with eating apples regularly, you’re still going to need to watch the rest of your diet, get regular exercise, brush and floss, and all those other good things. While an apple a day might help reduce how often you need to go to the doctor for various illnesses, you’ll still need to visit your Overland Park dentist at least twice a year.
Speaking of those bi-annual checkups and cleanings at your Overland Park dentist, if you haven’t scheduled your next appointment, there’s no time like the present! Just call Watts Family Dental at (913) 338-3384 to schedule your next appointment or chat with our friendly staff about the best place to pick apples in the area!