Cardiologist, author, and heart health expert Dr. Sarah Samaan offers advice on how to live a heart smart life.See all posts »
Apples for Your Heart Health
There may truth to the old adage that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Or you may prefer the old Welsh version, “eat an apple before going to bed, and you’ll keep the doctor from earning his bread.” However you slice it, apples are darn good for your heart, your cholesterol, and your waistline.
Apples are a terrific source of soluble fiber, the type of fiber that helps to lower cholesterol levels. A study recently presented by Florida State University’s Dr. Bahram H. Arjmandi found that women eating about two thirds of a cup of dried apples every day were able to lower their cholesterol by as much as 23 percent in six months. The women also lost weight in the process.
One patient of mine swears that eating an apple before meals helped her to lose 20 lbs. last year. Of course, she was also very motivated, but her experience is backed up by a 2008 study from Brazil (published, aptly, in the journal Appetite), in which women who ate three apples each day were able to lose about 2 ½ lbs. in 10 weeks without intentionally making any other changes to their diet.
Apples are also chock-full of antioxidants, which help to protect the heart from the harmful effects of cholesterol and other toxins. In 2008, researchers from Cornell University found that eating apples might help protect against Alzheimer’s dementia. Among apples, bananas, and oranges, the study concluded that apples have the highest content of antioxidants.
Apples are fairly cheap (usually 75 cents to $2 per lb.), plentiful, and delicious. Buy a bagful, and put me out of business!
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