An Apple A Day, Keeps the Doctor Away
We’ve all heard the saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but what does that really mean? It means that incorporating healthy, fresh foods into your diet decreases your likelihood of becoming ill and having to go to the doctor, but there is a myriad of other benefits of eating fresh foods. Some benefits include promoting a healthy weight, providing vital nutrients, and aiding in a healthy heart and gut.
It is important to consume fresh foods on a daily basis not just for the added benefits, but also so it doesn’t feel like you’re dieting. Fresh foods should be a part of every meal that you eat and here are a few reasons why:
- Promotes healthy weight. When we eat processed foods, they are loaded with ingredients, like artificial sugars and monosodium glutamate (MSG), that make us crave more which then makes us overeat. Fresh foods do not contain these ingredients that make us want to overeat, so it helps decreases obesity. We are also more likely to have more energy throughout the day and are more likely to exercise which reduces obesity.
- Low in sugar. Even though fresh foods, like fruits, contain sugar, it’s a natural and lower amount of sugar. It decreases your “risk of obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, and heart disease” (Spritzler, 2019). Eating fresh foods can bring your blood sugar levels down and helps you maintain a healthy blood sugar level.
- High in fiber and healthy fats. Fresh foods are also high in fiber and healthy fats. They do not contain trans and processed fats, can help decrease inflammation, boosts digestive function, promotes metabolic health, and gives you feelings of fullness so you don’t overeat. Foods high in fiber include chia seeds, flaxseeds, blackberries, beans and legumes. Foods high in healthy fats include salmon, avocadoes, nuts and seeds.
- Loaded with nutrients and antioxidants. As we already know, fresh foods have an abundance of vital nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that we all need to aid in proper digestion, brain, liver and heart function, and boosts our energy level throughout the day. When we are at our optimal health, we are less likely to become ill because our bodies are better able to fight diseases.
- Good for your skin. When we drink plenty of water and eat fresh foods, our bodies will reflect our clean eating habits. They help protect and nourish our skin. Foods like “dark chocolate and avocados have been shown to protect skin against sun damage” and “studies suggest that eating more vegetables, fish, beans, and olive oil may help reduce wrinkling, loss of elasticity, and other age-related skin changes” (Spritzler, 2019).
- Keeps your heart and gut healthy. Since fresh foods are packed with nutrients and antioxidants, it helps support a healthy heart, and “may also help reduce inflammation, which is considered one of the major drivers of heart disease” (Spritzler, 2019). Along with a heathy heart, when your body receives the proper nutrients, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it aids in a heathy gut. This makes for better digestion and absorption of nutrients into the body.
- Costs less in the long run. It may seem like eating fresh foods can be expensive at times, but you actually save money in the long run. When you’re at your optimal health, you are less likely to become sick, to have to go to take off from work or school, less likely to go to the doctor and less likely to have to buy medicine to make you feel better. It reduces the risk of many diseases like diabetes and heart disease, so you are not spending an excess amount of money on treatment for these and many other diseases.
- Provides variety. There are countless meals you can make with fresh foods and countless options when you include all of the major food groups into each meal. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, legumes, fresh fish, meat and poultry can all be prepared in different ways that provide delicious and nutritious meals. Eating the same processed foods can get old and boring, so when eating fresh foods, try foods that you have not tried before in order to broaden your repertoire of fresh food options.
While making a lifestyle change of incorporating more fresh foods is excellent and very beneficial to our overall health, you still want to make sure you talk to your health care provider about what foods you can and cannot eat. For example, I love fresh pineapple but I’m unable to eat them because the acidity from it disrupts my digestion, so that is one fresh food I know I cannot have. Another way to know if you have food sensitivities is to get a food intolerance analysis done with 5Strands® Affordable Testing, a non-invasive way to get your own personalized results of foods you should either cease eating or slow down eating. Once you know what those foods are, you can then make the change of consuming the best kinds of fresh foods for you!
Spritzler, F. (2019, April 12). 21 Reasons to Eat Real Food. Retrieved from