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.
Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular and Heart Disease
Here's why apples are so good for you: they 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 to 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
Another 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
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 the CardioVascular Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. For advice about your medical care, consult your doctor.
Posted January 2013