Posts Tagged “heart health”

Top Health Benefits Of Apples are Listed During National Nutrition Month

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DSCN9030by U.S. Apple Association

Falls Church, VA – Beyond everyday convenience and the wide range of varieties and apple products to choose from, apples also pack a nutritious punch, providing a daily dose of health benefits.

“National Nutrition Month, celebrated in March, is a good time to remind consumers that apples are a super food found in stores across the country,” said Korenna Wilson, Director of Consumer Health and Media Relations for USApple. “We continue to see studies that confirm the link between apple consumption and good health. This is a roundup of our favorites.”

The U.S. Apple Association offers 12 proven ways apples and apple products positively impact health, from head to toe, from the inside out, and through every stage of life:

  1. Lower LDL Cholesterol
    Studies by the Arthritis Foundation found evidence to support claims that eating apples on a daily basis may lower levels of cholesterol as well as C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the blood. Female participants who ate apples every day for six months saw lower LDL cholesterol levels by 23 percent as well as a 32 percent decrease in CRP (Arthritis Foundation, 2016).
  2. Improve Digestive Health 
    University of Denmark researchers discovered apples and apple products could boost intestinal health by increasing the numbers of good gut bacteria. The friendly bacteria in the intestines feed on pectin, a fiber found abundantly in apples (BMC Microbiology 2010, 10:13).
  3. Replace Daily Statin Use
    Some cardiologists argue that statins do more harm than good, especially for those who do not already have heart disease. Instead, people would benefit from eating an apple a day to prevent heart attacks, strokes and other vascular diseases (BMC Medicine, 2016 14:4).
  4. Support Respiratory Health 
    A National Institutes of Health study reports that foods rich in fiber and flavonoids, found abundantly in apples, may reduce chronic productive cough and other respiratory symptoms (Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med, 2004, 170: 279-287).
  5. Promote Heart Health 
    An Ohio State University study found that eating an apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL, the bad cholesterol, by 40 percent. A University of Florida study found eating two apples a day reduced LDL by 23 percent (Journal of Functional Foods, 2013).
  6. Strengthen Bone Health 
    A study published in the November 2010 online edition of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that older women who eat plenty of fruits, including apples and apple products, along with vegetables and whole grains, may have a lower chance of bone fractures than those not getting their fill.
  7. Deliver a Dose of Vitamin C
    Apples are a great source of vitamin C, which helps repair body tissue and provides antioxidants. According to the USDA National Nutrient Database, a large apple contains about 10.3mg of vitamin C, nearly 10 percent of the daily recommended dose.
  8. Protect Brain Cells
    Research from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell suggests eating apples and drinking apple juice can be beneficial when it comes to improving brain health and diminishing symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease. With a balanced diet, apple and apple juice consumption may protect against oxidative brain damage that can lead to memory loss.
  9. Strengthen Muscles
    A natural compound found in the apple’s skin, called ursolic acid, may help prevent muscle wasting that can result from aging and illness (Cell Metabolism, 2011, 13 (6): 627-638).
  10. Reduce Asthma Symptoms
    Research from the United Kingdom reports children of mothers who eat apples during pregnancy are much less likely to exhibit symptoms of asthma at age five. Apples were the only food found to have a positive association with a reduced risk of asthma among a variety of foods consumed and recorded (American Thoracic Society, 2007).
  11. Lowers Risk of Certain Types of Cancer, including Breast, Pancreatic, Colon or Liver, Prostate and Colorectal 
    Apples are rich in antioxidants, especially quercetin, which have been identified to help inhibit cancer onset and cell proliferation. In one study, the more apples per day a person ate, the less likely he/she was to develop colorectal cancer. The anti-cancer effect was seen even when a person had a low total consumption of fruits and vegetables, but consumed at least an apple a day (European Journal of Cancer Prevention, 2010, 19(1):42-47).
  12. Help Maintain Optimal Weight 
    State University of Rio de Janeiro researchers studying the impact of fruit intake on weight loss found that overweight women who ate the equivalent of three apples a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t eat the fiber-rich fruit (Nutrition, 2003, 19: 253-256). Furthermore, researchers at Harvard University found a higher intake of foods rich in flavonols, flavan-3-ols, anthocyanins and flavonoids, all of which are found in apples, was associated with less weight gain among adults and may contribute to the prevention of obesity.

For more information on the health benefits of apples and apple products vist, USApple.org.

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Heart Health of Youth Boosted by Fruit, Vegetable Consumption

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DSCN2899+1Young adults can preserve their heart health decades later by eating fruits and vegetables, according to a new study published in the American Heart Association journal Circulation.
The study concluded “higher intake of fruits and vegetables during young adulthood was associated with lower odds of prevalent coronary artery calcium after 20 years of follow-up,” according to the article. “Our results reinforce the importance of establishing a high intake of fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy dietary pattern early in life.”
Coronary artery calcium is used to measure the atherosclerosis, a disease that hardens arteries is a factor in many types of heart disease, according to a news release from the American Heart Association.
Researchers found that people who ate the most fruits and vegetables at the study’s start had 26% lower odds of developing calcified plaque two decade later, compared with the those who ate the least amount of fruits and vegetables, according to data from more than 2,500 study participants.
The research represents the first study to evaluate whether eating more fruits and vegetables as young adults could produce a measurable improvement in heart and blood veseels years later.
“People shouldn’t assume that they can wait until they’re older to eat healthy — our study suggests that what you eat as a young adult may be as important as what you eat as an older adult, ” lead author Michael Miedema, senior consulting cardiologist and clinical investigator at the Minneapolis Heart Institute, Minneapolis, Minn., said in the release.
“Our findings support public health initiatives aimed at increasing fruit and vegetable intake as part of a healthy dietary pattern,” Miedema said. “Further research is needed to determine what other foods impact cardiovascular health in young adults.”

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