South Korea, a famous saying about apples goes like this: eating apples in the morning is like eating gold, while eating an apple in the evening is more like eating poison. Yikes! An American version of the saying similarly praises apples with “an apple a day keeps the doctor away,” but without clarifying when to eat apples. At least according to South Korean folklore, looks like we are advised to eat apple earlier in the day, but not later in the evening. Is there any scientific ground for that?
Health benefits of eating an apple are related to bowel movement. It is known that apple peel is very rich in dietary fiber like pectin. Thus eating an apple after your morning meal gently stimulates the bowel movement. So if you have irregular bowel movements or constipation, an apple in the morning can be a great help.
In addition, pectin can protect lactic acid, and help lactic acid bacteria grow well in the colon. Lactic acid so grown up can act as a treatment and prevention mechanism of constipation, and help eliminate carcinogens. Pectin itself can also help carcinogens and heavy metals getting discharged out of the body. Furthermore, organic acids abundant in apple helps with digestion, by proliferating beneficial bacteria within the colon.
However, when an apple is eaten in the evening, the very same pectin which helps with bowel movements actually puts a burden on the intestinal digestive functions. You will have gas filled up in your bowel later in the bed, due to partially digested cellulose. In this case you will end up going to toilet several times while sleeping, and will not feel refreshed when you wake up in the morning. In addition, organic acids inside apples can increase your stomach acid beyond your comfortable level. With all these ill side effects, it’s not advised to eat apples after dinner or during night time.
But you don’t have to unnecessarily get paranoid. If you have normal digestive functions and healthy stomach, it’s not too bad to eat apples any time throughout the day. You should be aware that it’s always good to eat apples unpeeled since peel and its underlying flesh are where apple’s various nutrients including fiber, vitamin C are concentrated.