Research shows that the popular fruit can indeed help us keep healthy.
We all know the old saying about avoiding the medical profession, but how true is it? Very much so, according to researchers. A recent study has confirmed that eating an apple a day can bring important health benefits.
It’s far from being a new discovery that this tasty fruit is packed with nutrients, but apparently its health benefits are more than we knew till now. According to brand new research, a diet rich in apples can help prevent heart disease by significantly lowering LDL cholesterol – the “bad ” cholesterol in the blood.
160 women, between the ages of 45 and 65, took part in the study, co-ordinated at the Florida State University. Half of them consumed a diet which included 75g dried apple per day for a duration of 12 months, while for the other half the apple was substituted with dried prunes.
According to Dr. Bahram Arjmandi, one of the scientists involved in the experiment, the outcomes were more than the researchers had expected. The women’s LDL cholesterol levels were significantly lowered. It only took six months for the “bad” cholesterol in their blood to go down by almost a quarter, while the levels of HDL cholesterol (“good” cholesterol) went up with almost 4%. Another effect of the diet was weight loss, with the women getting rid of an average of 3lbs.
These spectacular results would seem to indicate that the apple is truly a miracle fruit. The decreased amount of cholesterol leads to a healthier heart and better functioning of the cardiovascular system. Also, there was a drop in other substances connected with heart disease (lipid hydroperoxide and C-reactive protein). So, an apple a day can at least keep the cardiologist away.
Previous studies had shown that apples are a rich source of fibre and other beneficial substances, such as pectin and polyphenols. They have been known to aid digestion and play a part in the prevention of various types of cancer. Now, the health benefits of apples are confirmed once more.
Although the researchers used dried fruit, the fresh variety is thought to bring the same benefits, maybe even on a larger scale, since some of the nutritional content of the apple is probably lost during the drying process.
The conclusion is that a healthy diet should always include apples, fresh or dried.