We’ve heard the phrase “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” And yes, apples are truly miraculous fruits that lower cholesterol and reduce hardening of the arteries. The antioxidants found in apples and pectin which is the sticky part of fruit used to make jams and jellies lower bad LDL and fight inflammation, a known trigger of premature aging and disease.
In a study of healthy, middle-aged adults, consumption of one apple a day for four weeks lowered by 40 percent blood levels of a substance linked to hardening of the arteries. Taking capsules containing polyphenols, a type of antioxidant found in apples, had a similar,but not as large, effect.
The study, funded by an apple industry group, found that the apples lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL — low-density lipoprotein, the “bad” cholesterol. When LDL cholesterol interacts with free radicals to become oxidized, the cholesterol is more likely to promote inflammation and can cause tissue damage.
According to lead researcher Robert DiSilvestro of Ohio State University and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center, when LDL becomes oxidized, it takes on a form that begins atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
“We got a tremendous effect against LDL being oxidized with just one apple a day for four weeks. The difference was similar to that found between people with normal coronary arteries versus those with coronary artery disease,” he explained.
Impressed with the health benefits of apple? Here are more reasons: An apple a day could also keep your memory sharp, helps protect against cancer, and decreases the risk of diabetes.
Find out how to control your cholesterol by checking out our Cholesterol Guide. In the meantime, you may try these healthy apple recipes that won’t break your calorie bank.
Lightened-up Waldorf Salad
Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad
Beet and Apple Salad
Do you have other favorite apple recipes that you enjoy? Share it with us!