In today's 21st century age, there are more remedies and purported cures for almost anything that ails you. Just go into any discount chemist shop and walk the miles and miles of aisles of hundreds and thousands of products on the shelves. Or the multitude of TV ads, or pop-ups on your computer while you are surfing the worldwide web.
Have a pain take this, cannot sleep try this, ringing in your ears do this and the list goes on and on.
However, what about those old wives tales like, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away"?
The saying was coined 107 years ago and was based on the original form with a different rhyme, in Wales: "Eat an apple on going to bed and you'll keep the doctor from earning his bread."
In these days where COVID-19 seems to be a virus that thus far has stifled scientists the world over, maybe a look at some basic everyday things like an apple may be more beneficial than we think.
One study of 8399 participants by Dr Matthew Davis at the University of Michigan School of Nursing reports that this may not be so true.
The research looked at no more than one visit a year to the doctor as a means of investigating the proverb's success in daily apple eaters compared with non-apple eaters.
The results of a daily apple in keeping the doctor away did not do so.
In fact, this study suggested that there was no statistically meaningful difference in visits to the doctor for daily apple eaters.
The apple proverb also had no effect on a person's mental health.
However, the research indicated that those people, 47.7 per cent, who ate a daily apple, were also more likely to avoid prescription medication use.
Registered dietitian Kathy McManus, director of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital, offers another perspective.
Per Ms McManus: "There is good data to show that the soluble fibre in apples can help prevent cholesterol from building up on artery walls. Apples contain a good amount of potassium, which can be beneficial for those who are watching their blood pressure."
Wendy Brannen, director, Consumer Health and Public Relations for the US Apple Association would agree as would her apple-promoting colleagues, who are of the mindset that an apple a day really does keep the doctor away or at the minimum make your doctor visits much more palatable.
So if we look at apples for its health properties then should we also look at things like carrots, which are assumed to be good for your eyes? Carrots are rich in the antioxidant beta carotene, which is the precursor to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps make rhodopsin, a pigment that helps eyes work better in low light.
Or what about ginger, which proposes to relieve nausea? Research shows that ginger helps relieve nausea and vomiting that can be caused by motion sickness, morning sickness in pregnancy, during chemotherapy treatments and post-surgically after anaesthetic. Constituents in ginger include gingerols and shogaols that help speed gastric emptying, which relieves nausea.
How about fish? Is fish really good for your brain? Well according to a study in 2016, researchers at Rush Medical Center in Chicago, found weekly consumption of fish was associated with high volume of grey matter, the dark tissue of the brain that's in charge of processing information and controlling vision and memory.
The study showed that any fish, and not just those high in omega-3 fat, actually had a positive effect. Overall, whole fish intake may help delay cognitive impairment and Alzheimer's disease,
Ok, back to the apple. Besides being the forbidden fruit that was plucked from the tree in the Garden of Eden, researchers Professor Jonathan Hodgson, from the School of Medicine and Pharmacology and Department Research Officer Dr Michael Considine from the University of Western Australia, also looked at potential benefits of the apple.
They concluded that flavonoid-rich apples improve blood vessel relaxation and enhance nitric oxide status, which is the molecule that causes blood vessel relaxation. Therefore, if there is a reduced ability of the blood vessels to relax this may cause high blood pressure and heart disease. Dr Considine further stated, 'The popular WA-bred Cripps Pink variety (sold as Pink Lady) had the highest flavonoid level, which was found mainly in the skin."
Therefore, does an apple a day really keep the doctor away, well it may not directly do so, however, given the health benefits of an apple, possibly, an apple a day may be able to support us in living longer and lower the risk of mortality.
But what about the orange, broccoli, spinach or blueberries?
As Bethany Frankel once said, 'Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments'.