On Trial: The Apple

August 6, 2013


They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away — but it’s not that simple.

The Defense

Everyone knows apples are good for you. They are packed with soluble fiber, which has been shown to reduce intestinal disorders, diverticulitis, hemorrhoids, and possibly even some kinds of cancer.

Apples help control insulin levels by releasing sugar slowly into the bloodstream. They cleanse and detoxify the body, helping to eliminate heavy metals such as lead and mercury. Also, apple pectin helps reduce cholesterol levels by lowering insulin secretion.

A single apple has just 50 to 80 calories. There’s no fat or sodium, but you get plenty of flavonoids and vitamins — plus smaller amounts of phosphorus, iron, and calcium. Apples also serve as a source of potassium, which may promote heart health.

The Prosecution

Not so fast, Mr. Appleseed. The British Dental Association says apples may contribute to tooth decay because of their high sugar content.

They trace an increase in cavities to the corresponding rise in sweeter apple varieties such as Pink Lady, Fuji, and Braeburn. Apples are rich in fruit acids, which can cause tooth erosion through repeated exposure over time.

Worse yet, apples are more likely to carry high doses of pesticides than most other fruits and vegetables. The most common pesticides found on apples are organo-phosphorus and organo-chloride, which could be dangerous to the nervous system, respiratory tract, and cardiovascular system.

Last but not least, apple seeds are actually toxic! Admittedly, they are safe in small doses, but that has not prevented medical professionals from recommending against their consumption by children, pregnant women, and breastfeeding mothers.

The Verdict

The prosecution is wasting the Food Court’s time. Tooth decay? Buy a toothbrush. Pesticides? Doesn’t everyone wash fruit before eating it? Toxic seeds? Who eats the core!

We rule for the defense. Enjoy an apple today — it really might keep the doctor away.


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