An Apple a Day: Helps Keep Heart Troubles Away!
Heart-Healthy Benefits of Apples
It's true! The humble apple actually does have heart-healthy benefits.
And there's nothing like a fresh, crisp apple in your favorite flavor - from yummy sweet to eye-squinting tart. There's an apple for every eye...and palate. Of course you can find an array of apples at the supermarket, but you can't beat getting out in the fresh air and picking your own at a nearby orchard.
Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular and Heart Disease
Here's why apples are so good for you. Apples contain quercetin - a phytochemical or flavonoid that is part of the coloring found in the skin of apples. A number of studies have associated quercetin with some reduced risk for
cardiovascular and heart disease.
Reduce Risk of Atherosclerosis and Lower Blood Pressure
One study published in the
British Journal of Nutrition
, found that quercetin may help reduce the risk of
atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in arteries that can lead to
heart attack or
stroke) while helping to lower blood pressure. The study involved 93 overweight or obese individuals, aged 25-65, with high cardiovascular risk. It's important to note that those with established blood pressure issues may not be able to control their blood pressure with quercetin alone and should consult their doctor about alternate ways to
control blood pressure.
Reduce Risk of Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome
nationwide research study found that people who ate apples on a regular basis were 21 percent less likely to have a
large waist and 27 percent less likely to be diagnosed with
metabolic syndrome, which is linked to
diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Apples are also high in pectin, a soluble fiber that can help to
reduce cholesterol levels, which in turn helps to prevent heart disease.
Eat the Whole Apple with Skin
Remember, for even more benefit from an apple, include the exercise of picking your own! And, to get the highest benefit per crunch, it's important to eat the whole fruit with skin. Of course, we're talking apples here…apple pie doesn't count.
So what are you waiting for? Get to the core of healthy eating, starting with an apple a day!
Above content provided by Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
Posted October 2010