Eating Apples at Night: a Korean Superstition

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Eating Apples at Night: a Korean Superstition
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” This adage is taught to most western children as a way of verbalizing that apples are very healthy to eat. In theory, if we eat an apple every day, we will be so healthy that we won’t need a doctor. Although this is an exaggeration of the health benefits of apples, we can all agree that this is one healthy fruit. Koreans also have the same belief, but there is one exception. It’s believed in Korea that eating an apple at night is actually unhealthy. Eating apples at night would be difficult for one’s stomach to digest, leading to indigestion. This would lead to a sick feeling and make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. The origins of this theory are unknown, but this belief seems to be well known in Korea. Most people don’t eat apples at night anyway, but Koreans will admit to hearing about this from an elder at some point in their life. A few of those will actually believe it and refrain from eating 사과 “sah gwah” (apples) at night. The fact that apples are very healthy is no mystery, but does that change when eating them at night? Eating food before going to sleep is generally a bad idea because foods that are spicy, heavy or fatty will make it difficult to sleep soundly. Apples, however, have none of those properties and are actually filled with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that are beneficial for sleeping. For example, apples contain vitamins C, B6 potassium. They help to decrease blood pressure, improve breathing and lower blood sugar. They also help the body to secrete serotonin causing the nerves to relax easier. All of that provides for a good night’s rest. There are also polyphenols (antioxidants) which are found mainly in the skins of apples. They assist the body in breaking down carbohydrates and regulating blood sugar, providing a steady level of energy (so you don’t stay up due to an energy spike). That causes body fat to burn steadily, all while you...
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