Can An Apple A Day Keep The Doctor Away?

The use of natural agents as medicinal treatments has a long history. The Greek physician Hippocrates (circa 400 BCE) was one of the earliest proponents of nutritional healing. His favorite remedies were apples, dates, and barley mush.

With the prevalence of type 2 diabetes rising worldwide, especially in older adults, people are looking at diet and lifestyle, particularly plant-based diets as an effective tool for type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity prevention and management.

Plant-based diets are eating patterns that emphasize non-GMO whole food legumes, minimum whole grains, vegetables, root vegetables, bulbs, fruits, nuts, and seeds and discourage most if not or all animal/fowl/diary products.

The modern pharmaceutical industry is based on synthetic chemistry with a historical connection between plants, food and medicines.

The growing costs of discovering new chemical entity-based drugs through high throughput screening methods may yet again reconnect man with plants and human health at a new level of technological sophistication as witnessed by the growing demand for Cannabis based phytocannabinoid products.

Multi-component botanical therapeutics that comprise functional foods, dietary supplements and botanical drugs hold several advantages over conventional drugs that may earn them a more prominent place in the medicine of the future.

Whole plant-based foods products can deliver mixtures of multi-functional molecules with potentiating and synergistic effects at a reasonable cost and with fewer regulatory constraints.

Whole foods like my favorite the Apple, is well suited for long-term disease prevention in an era of genetic testing and increased life expectancy and I do not recall anyone being sued for recommending the Apple.

Apples don’t only keep the doctor away, they can provide a wealth of varying health benefits—from weight loss to heavy metal chelation. They are able to do this, in part, because of the various beneficial compounds within the fruit.

Apples don’t only keep the doctor away, they can provide a wealth of varying health benefits—from weight loss to heavy metal chelation. They are able to do this, in part, because of the various beneficial compounds within the fruit.

There is a general consensus that the elements of a whole-food, plant-based diet—are highly beneficial for preventing and treating type 2 diabetes, heart disease and obesity.

Equally important, plant-based diets address the bigger picture for patients with diabetes by simultaneously treating cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in the United States, and its risk factors such as obesity, hypertension, hyper-lipidemia, and inflammation.

The advantages of a plant-based diet which includes my benchmark Apple, also extends to reduction in risk of cancer, the second leading cause of death in the United States; the World Cancer Research Fund and the American Institute for Cancer Research recommends eating mostly foods of plant origin, avoiding all processed meats and sugary drinks, limiting intake of red meats, dairy, grains, energy dense foods, salt, and alcohol for cancer prevention.

I have long recommended the consumption of a hight plant-based diet and now the health benefits of such a diet are exploding in popularity, and many advantages have been well documented over the past several decades and published in The National Center for Biotechnology Information.

What is wonderful to see today is there a broad expansion of the research database supporting the myriad benefits of plant-based diets, but also, healthcare practitioners are seeing awe-inspiring results with their patients across multiple unique subspecialties.

My conclusion is that there are infinite advantages to the vast array of nutrients found in plant-based foods like my Apple such as phytochemicals and fibers which are the two categories of nutrients that are possibly the most health promoting and disease fighting.

Plants like my Apple are the only source of these nutrients; they are completely absent in animals. Plants contain thousands of phytochemicals, such as carotenoids, glucosinolates, and flavonoids, which perform a multitude of beneficial functions, including:

-anti-oxidation, neutralizing free radicals, anti-inflammation, cancer activity reduction via several mechanisms, including inhibiting tumor growth, detoxifying carcinogens, retarding cell growth, and preventing cancer formation, immunity enhancement, protection against certain diseases, such as osteoporosis, CVD, macular degeneration, and cataracts, and optimization of serum cholesterol just to name a few things plants like the Apple can do to help improve health outcomes.

So can an Apple a day keep the doctor away, it sure looks like a great possibility.

Gerald J. Joseph, B.S., M.Ed.  


Gerald J. Joseph International, LLC


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