Can An Apple A Day Keep Your Cardiologist Away?

Apples are in season, naturally sweet, and divinely affordable.

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It may. Apples are a low-calorie, rich source of fiber, phytochemicals, and potassium, all of which can keep your heart healthy.

Apples are a sweet source of soluble fiber, which has been shown to help you lower your “bad” LDL blood cholesterol. Too much LDL cholesterol in your blood increases your risk for heart disease. Apples also contain polyphenols, a hearty-healthy phytochemical, as well as potassium, a mineral that can help lower high blood pressure. Unfortunately, 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure, which can further damage the heart, and many adults are falling short of this important mineral.

Lastly, apples are kind to your waist. A study of more than 50 adults published in the journal Appetite revealed that eating an apple prior to lunch helped reduce the calories at that meal by 15 percent, or about 185 calories. Chomping on an apple prior to a meal may help curb your appetite by increasing satiety or that feeling of fullness even before you pick up your dinner fork. The less hungry you are at dinner, the better your chance for eating less at the meal.

Here are three ways to enjoy apples daily:

1. Add a diced apple to your bowl of oatmeal in the morning. Oats are another excellent source of heart-healthy soluble fiber so you will double your heart efforts at breakfast.

2. Sweeten your lunchtime tuna sandwich by adding a chopped apple to the recipe.

3. Make this easy baked apple recipe from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics your “go-to” dessert.

Apples are in season, naturally sweet, and divinely affordable. Apples picked at your local orchard also give you some outside exercise. This will also make your cardiologist happy.

Be well, Joan

Originally published at www.huffingtonpost.com on October 28, 2016.

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