New research shows that people who eat an apple a day are less likely to need prescription medications than those who avoid the fruit

By Mirel Ketchiff
Updated: March 30, 2015
Corbis Images

Turns out, an apple a day won't really keep the doctor away-but it may help keep you off prescription drugs. That's the word from researchers from the University of Michigan School of Nursing, Ann Arbor, who analyzed data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to compare the health of people who ate at least one small apple per day to those who didn't.

And while people who showed the fruit some love didn't visit the doctor or stay overnight in the hospital any less frequently than those who didn't, the findings did show that the apple-eaters enjoyed other healthy perks. They were less likely to be taking prescription meds, for example. They were also less likely to smoke and were more educated than those who rarely enjoyed a Honeycrisp or Pink Lady. (The USDA Approves the First GMO Apple.)

The study had some flaws, though. A big one: The questionnaires only asked about what the participants had eaten in the past 24 hours, which might not provide an accurate view of their actual diets. (Ask the Diet Doctor: Is Fruit Really a "Free" Diet Food?)

Still, there's plenty to love about apples. They're a great source of vitamin C and fiber, and they're chock-full of healthy polyphenols and antioxidants, including quercetin, a compound that has been shown to lower blood pressure and keep the heart healthy. Other research has shown that eating one a day can make sex better for women. If you find raw ones boring, try one of these 10 Amazing Apple Recipes (inspired by fall, but delish in spring too).

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