Proverbs on Health | JASE Medical

Many proverbs are based in some degree of truth. Let’s explore some of the more popular ones and examine the validity of their health claims.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away

Apples are a rich source of natural pectin and soluble fiber. Pectin is found in highest concentration in green, underripe apples and Granny Smith varieties. Pectin is used to thicken jams and jellies, but it has many health promoting benefits, such as:

  • Reduces inflammation in the colon. There is research pointing to the powerful anti-inflammatory properties of pectin in the colon. The water-soluble fiber found in apple pectin can help repair damage to the colon in people with inflammatory bowel disease.
  • Reduces cholesterol– Pectin reduces the absorption of dietary cholesterol in the gut which in turn reduces cholesterol. High cholesterol levels elevate the risk for stroke, heart disease and diabetes.
  • Normalizes blood sugars-Soluble fiber, such as apple pectin stabilizes and helps reduce high blood sugars.
  • Aids in blood pressure control
  • Regulate bowel movements- Soluble fiber, found in apple pectin along with psyllium, citrus and other vegetables promotes bowel regularity

The less you eat the longer you live

  • Calorie restriction has long been suspected of improving health and longer life span. Research is proving this theory correct. During calorie restriction the body frees up energy to regenerate and repair cells instead of having to expend energy on poor food choices, or overeating. A recent study conducted by a group of scientists from US and China have concluded that calorie restriction can provide protection against aging in cellular pathways. Calorie restriction also decreases inflammation and dramatically increases number of immune cells in almost every tissue.

Early to bed, early to rise keeps a man healthy, wealthy, and wise

  • According to a study titled “Early to bed, early to rise! Sleep habits and academic performance in college students” Compared to those with the lowest academic performance, students with the highest performance had significantly earlier bedtimes and wake times. About two thirds of the world’s billionaires wake at 4 am. Many cite less distractions because the rest of the world is still sleeping. Studies indicate early risers have a dramatically decreased instance of a major depression episode.

Seven days without exercise makes one weak

  • This proverb is self-explanatory and needs no explanation. Be sure to dust off your walking shoes and exercise, or at least go for long walks as weather permits. If the weather isn’t cooperating, find a you tube exercise video and set a goal of several times a week to stay or get in shape. There are many different types of videos, from easy yoga to exercises tailored to disabled to high intensity training. Something for everyone. An exercise buddy can be a powerful motivator to keep and stay on a schedule.

Never let the sun go down on your anger

  • Unresolved anger can result in an increase in cortisol levels. Cortisol is the body’s way of dealing with stress, diverting energy to parts of the body that may need to fight a perceived or imaginary enemy. Cortisol suppresses immune function and increases blood sugar. It is better to deal with anger before going to bed. Journaling, talking to someone, resolving conflict before bed will help lead to a healthier body and relationships.

Prevention is better than cure

  • Prevention is always better than taking time out for sickness. Evaluate and make changes that promote health. Plan and make healthy meals ahead of time for those days you don’t have time to cook. Put exercise in your appointment calendar. Take time for yourself. Maintain mental health by reaching out to friends and family. Make sure your car is ready for travel in extreme weather conditions, so you don’t get caught in the severe cold or heat dealing with a preventable car related breakdown. Reduce stress (keeps cortisol levels down) by setting up a budget and sticking to it. Plan your days, weeks and months. Be flexible. Take time out for self care and preventative maintenance. Keep your dental and doctors appointments. Don’t put off needed procedures and exams.

He was born with a silver spoon in his mouth

  • Throughout the centuries silver has been used for its antibacterial properties. Silver containers were used during Roman Greco times to keep liquids from spoiling. During the 1300s Bubonic Plague outbreak, parents would give their children silver spoons to suck on to prevent the plague.
  • Pioneers brought their knowledge of silvers antibacterial properties with them when they immigrated to America. They would drop silver coins in their water supplies to inhibit growth of bacteria and algae.
  • As recent as the 1950s, homemakers would drop a silver coin in milk to prevent spoiling.

- Brooke Lounsbury

Medical Content Writer

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