There’s more to this popular saying than we give it credit for. Recent research has revealed that eating apples on a daily basis can help lower C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the blood, besides lowering levels of cholesterol.
Details of the study
In 2012, a study was conducted at Florida State University involving 160 women aged 45 to 65. Half of the participants ate three-quarters of a cup of dried apples every day for a year, and the other half ate a cup of prunes – each 240 calories. Within six months, the apple eaters’ LDL (bad) cholesterol decreased 23 percent, their HDL (good) cholesterol increased 4 percent and their CRP fell 32 percent.
“Lower CRP is better for people with many inflammatory-related diseases, such as [rheumatoid arthritis] and atherosclerosis,”says study author Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, chair of Florida State University’s department of nutrition, food and exercise science in Tallahassee.
Those who ate the dried apples lost an average of 3.3 pounds compared with the prune-eaters’ 1.1-pound gain. According to Arjmandi, it’s the pectin, a soluble fiber that gels in the gastrointestinal tract, which is most beneficial. Previous studies have shown that pectin can also help curb appetite.
Best apples for Arthritis
Dried, fresh or baked – all apples are considered beneficial, though over-ripeness can break down the pectin. However, there is evidence that a certain type of apple, Red Delicious, which is higher in antioxidants – especially when you leave the peel on.
At around 80 calories for a medium (tennis-ball-sized) apple, it’s hard to go wrong with any variety. In addition to lowering cholesterol and CRP levels, apples also contain vitamins A and C and they are a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are essential for healthy living, as they can protect our cells from the effects of free radicals.
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