An Apple a Day ….

By Patrice Powers-Barker, OSU Extension, Lucas County
The Truth Contributor

Did you fill in the rest of that sentence with “keeps the doctor away?” There have been research studies on those who eat apples once a day verses those who do not. Although the research will not say that it will eliminate all doctor visits, it has shown that eating apples is a healthy choice.

One study showed that those who eat apples regularly tend to use less prescription medications. In addition, apples are easy to find at the grocery store and farmers market and highly nutritious. They have been associated with several health benefits, including improved heart health and a reduced risk of certain types of cancer.

If someone recommends a single food (like an apple) as a cure for all physical illness, they are not giving good advice. This nutrition article will remind you of the importance of eating a healthy diet, including apples and many fruits and vegetables but the food we eat can only assist with our overall health and wellness.

Healthy food choices must be used in partnership with other healthy habits. This is the time of year for cold and flu season, and we are still living in a pandemic. As of September 29, Lucas County was at a high level for community transmission of Covid-19.  Please continue to follow the recommendations of your health care professionals and the recommendations of our public health experts (including getting vaccinated and wearing a mask in public indoor spaces, regardless of your vaccination status).

Updated information is available from the Toledo Lucas County Health Department.  A healthy diet will not solve the challenges of all germs (including viruses), but it can be an important part of overall health.

As important as a healthy eating pattern is for our immune system, experts recommend that we need to eat healthy and make other daily choices to best help our bodies stay healthy. These habits also include getting good sleep, regular moderate exercise, and handling stress in a healthy way. In addition, always wash your hands.

Every day is the right day to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds and we celebrate Global Handwashing Day on October 15.  As basic as a daily habit as it is, many germs are diminished when we all wash our hands regularly and properly. The theme for this year’s global awareness is: “Our Future is at Hand – Let’s Move Forward Together.” No matter your role, you can celebrate Global Handwashing Day every day!

The day before Global Handwashing Day is “Let’s All Crunch” an apple as part of the annual Great Lake Apple Crunch.  This day is a way to celebrate National Farm to School Month by collectively purchasing and crunching into locally and regionally grown apples at noon on Thursday, October 14, 2021. Although this event is geared toward schools from pre-k through university level, it is open to any state and local agencies, non-profit organizations, local businesses, groups, and even households. Anyone who wants to show support for local farmers and school food can join!

Eating a fresh apple, after washing it is probably the easiest way to eat an apple. There are so many varieties of apples at the grocery store as well as local varieties from orchards that you could probably eat a different kind of apple a day each day for the month of October. The following recipe is an easy way to enjoy some apples as well as carrots for added vitamins and flavor.

Apple Carrot Salad – this side dish is so easy that you can make it with just a few ingredients.  Make it with what you already have on hand or add the extra ingredients to your grocery list this week. The very basic recipe is to shred one large apple and one large carrot. Mix together and drizzle a small amount of honey over it. For a sweet flavor, sprinkle some cinnamon on top. If you like a more detailed recipe, follow this one:

Shredded Carrot and Apple Salad

  • One large carrot, washed, trimmed, and shredded
  • One large (tart) apple, washed and either shredded or chopped into very small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, washed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons lemon or lime juice
  • 1½ teaspoons honey

Instructions: in a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients together, stir well. Can be served right away or made ahead of time and chilled in the refrigerator up to 12 hours.

Lastly, it’s the time of year to sign up for Ohio State University Extension’s six-week email challenge. The theme this year is “Play Your Way Through the Holidays” and it will run from November through December. If you’re interested in the six-week email challenge, contact Patrice at

Reminder to start with an apple but don’t end there.  Keep up all those good habits to keep healthy this fall.