A Journal of Functional Foods study demonstrates the benefits of eating that famed “apple a day.”

A group of 16 people ate either an actual apple, capsules with the same amount of polyphenols (plant compounds) found in apples, or a placebo daily over a 4 week span.

Those in the study who ate the apples saw decreased blood levels of oxidized LDL—“bad” cholesterol linked to hardening of the arteries and cardiovascular disease—by 40 percent. Those who ate the polyphenol capsules reduced their LDL levels, but not to the same extent. The difference in LDL reduction led researchers to suspect that our bodies can best absorb polyphenols when they’re in their natural state.

Apples also boast other health benefits–quercetin is a flavonoid also found in the skin of red onions that reduces swelling and the risk of allergies, heart attack, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and prostate and lung cancers. Any apple can provide health benefits, but the Red Delicious contains the most inflammation-fighting antioxidants.

So grab that apple as a snack or on the go and know that you’re making a healthy choice for many reasons!

Everyday foods – apples
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