Apples Found to Reduce Oxidative Stress, Reduce Blood Pressure, Boost Heart Health
Scientists with the University of Michigan Health System presented a report at the ADA’s Annual Food and Nutrition Conference and Exposition detailing how apples can actually reduce oxidative stress while reducing blood pressure and cholesterol levels. In essence, apples are fabulous for promoting heart health.
Their research was performed on mice who were predisposed to obesity. Half of the mice were given apples and the other half were not. Both groups had identical calories, sugar, and fiber amounts in their diet, but, at the end of the study, those in the apple group saw less incidence of heart disease as well as overall health improvements.
A similar study published in the Journal of Functional Foods, this one on humans, found that eating apples every day could reduce hardening of the arteries. Study participants ate one apple daily for a period of four weeks, finding that the intake reduced oxidation of LDL (commonly referred to as “bad” cholesterol). By stopping oxidation, the arteries avoid developing plaque associated with heart disease. As a matter of fact, participants with established coronary artery disease (CAD) who were put on the apple regimen were able to reverse their arterial damage.
Similar benefits were reproduced with capsules containing active polyphenols, though the results didn’t last as long. The researchers went so far as to say that these polyphenols derived from apples are “significantly more effective at lowering oxidized LDL than other antioxidants studied, including the spice-based compound curcumin, green tea and tomato extract.”
This doesn’t mean that you should stop drinking green tea or using turmeric (the spice where curcumin is found), because these foods have a wealth of benefits. However, you may want to take the age-old advice of eating an “apple a day” to help keep your heart healthy.
If a fruit’s shape has anything to do with its health benefits, it should be no surprise that apples are good for your heart. And in this day and age—when heart disease is the number one killer of Americans, we need all the help we can get. If preventing heart disease is as simple as an “apple a day”, everyone should be partaking of this fruit basket staple.
Heart disease risk increases as the health of your diet decreases. Meaning, the more processed your diet, the greater your risk of being diagnosed with heart disease or even cancer. Processed, unnatural foods don’t only lead to cholesterol oxidation and the resulting hardening of the arteries, but they take the place of healing foods—like apples.