What Is The Meaning Of This Proverb?
It means that eating an apple (or fruits or vegetables in general, basically, foods that are good for you) can improve one’s health and thus keep the doctor away.
If a person eats right and they are healthy, they won’t have the need to go to the doctor as often as someone who is unhealthy.
The Origin of ‘An Apple a Day Keeps The Doctor Away’
The origin of this saying is believed to be from Wales, a country in Great Britain. The first recorded use of this proverb is said to be in the 1860s. It makes an appearance, for example, in a publication called Notes and Queries from the year 1866.
Of note, the English version of this phrase had an earlier form that went like this: “Eat an apple on going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” The later version that is commonly heard today seemed to take hold sometime during the early 20th century. For example, the later version of the saying is written in The Country Gentleman, 1913:
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”
On hearing this phrase, some people may wonder: Would eating an apple a day really keep the doctor away forever? Obviously not. Sure, eating an apple every day can have certain health benefits (this fruit has dietary fiber, for one, which aids the digestive process), but even if you’re as fit as a fiddle and eat healthy, and you even consume apples on a daily basis, well, it is still possible to get sick and thus need the help of a doctor.
Basically, the idea here for this proverb is that eating healthier can help to keep the doctor away.
Example of This Proverb Used In a Sentence
“Hey Ashley, I’ve been getting sick a lot lately, do you think eating more fruit would help?”
“Well, Harry, as the saying goes, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, so I think including more fruits and vegetables in your diet would certainly be beneficial.”