I heard that the pectin in apples is good for digestive disorders and can also lower cholesterol - has anyone tried eating an apple a day for digestion problems (or anything else) and do they think that apples can be more of a benefit to our system than just a plain old sugar hit?
My approach is that it makes a lot of sense to just eat a variety of fruits. In season. I know there are many people out there calling fruit "bags of sugar" - but they are more. After all, loads of vitamins can't be that bad and they taste just great.
I've had half an apple a day for several months in the morning as a sweet and fresh addition to scrambled or boiled eggs. I'm now switching from strawberries to blueberries (in season).
Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing, indeed. But a (not too big) apple a day sounds reasonable to me. Especially if you like apples. Then eating an apple makes you happy. And happiness is healthy!
So yes: The are more than sugar. They containt vitamins, some fibre and, for some, happiness.
According to Michael Pollan in The Botany of Desire (my fave Pollan book!), "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" is not traditional wisdom, but a Prohibition-era slogan from apple growers and marketers. It seems apples were only incidentally used as eating fruit before that time, and were primarily for hard cider for centuries in Europe. Apples used to be a symbol of licentiousness, rather than wholesomeness. Hence the Middle Ages' imagining of the Fruit that ended our Eden stay as an apple. All that sugar ferments so readily. Apple sellers were hard pressed (ha ha!) to find a way to stay in business when hard cider became illegal in state after state and then nationally, so they came up with the idea that fresh, raw apples were some kinda health food so beneficial that everyone should actually EAT one every single day. Behold the power of the meme. I'm not asserting apples are not good; I'm just citing one writer's research showing where the meme orginated. This is all according to my recollection of the apple section of BoD.
Eh, I'm not a huge fan of apples (or fruit in general for that matter, but that's just me). I'm one of those people that see fruit as "bags of sugar". Yes, fruit has nutrients, but there's nothing essential in fruit that you can't get elsewhere.
I personally think that if you're going to eat fruit, there are better fruits out there than apples. Apples are high in fructose, which can be a major problem for a lot of people (including myself). But in the end, it depends on your personal tolerance of them. If you want to try an apple a day, then go ahead. Just pay attention to your body. It'll "tell" you if the apples aren't a good idea.
Check out my question of fruit in general, several good answers If Fructose is bad, why is fruit ok, even in moderation
My approach to fruit is to not to worry about my consumption of local, in-season varieties. Right now I'm eating raspberries and blueberries fairly regularly -- 4-5 times a week. In another 2-3 months I'll be eating apples. In January I probably won't eat any fruit of any kind, aside from perhaps a little fresh lemon or lime juice here or there.
I like to think that having some fruit each day is ok if it agrees with you and makes you/your body happy. Unfortunately after having gone paleo for 6 months my body no longer accepts apples! I get lots of cramping and gas. Its like the apple sits and ferments in my gut. This make me sad 'cause I used to Love apples! Hopefully I can continue to eat berries and melon.