Who hasn’t heard the expression “an apple a day keeps the doctor away?” A new study sought to see what it is about apples that causes them to lend healthful effects to the human body. Can they be classified in the food cures category? Or perhaps healing foods? In short, yes. Researchers have found evidence to support the apple being considered a miracle fruit.
In this latest fruit-related bit of health news, apples appear to have great health benefits that surpass the high fiber that they contain. Animal studies have shown that apple pectin and polyphenols in apple improve cholesterol levels and reduced inflammation. The latest study, though, took aim at the apple’s potential heart-protective abilities in postmenopausal women.
This study randomly assigned 160 women ages 45-65 to one of two groups: one ate dried apples daily (75 grams a day for one year); and the other group ate dried prunes every day for a year. By measuring blood samples, the researchers found that, by six months, the women eating apples had an average 23% drop in LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. The daily apple consumption led to a drop in two other measures of heart problems as well. It also led to an increase in HDL (“good”) cholesterol by about four percent.
This suggests that the apple may be a healing food in that it protects the cardiovascular system. The results were unexpected. Another advantage of eating apples is that the extra 240 calories per day consumed from the dried apple did not lead to weight gain in the women. As a matter of fact, they lost an average of 3.3 pounds. Part of the reason for the reduced weight may be the pectin in apples, which is known to make you feel full after you eat it.
So there appears to be truth behind the old adage about keeping the doctor away via the apple. Nutritional science supports that expression. The researchers say that everyone can benefit from consuming apples.