Feeding your body with the proper nutrients will keep you fueled and feeling good. As fruit experts, we often get asked questions about the health benefits of fruits, so we rounded up nine reasons why apples, like Rave® apples (among all the others) are good for your heart.
- Apples are low in calories. A medium apple has roughly 100 calories each, making it a low-cal choice for snacking. A diet rich in low-calorie, high-nutrient foods can help you keep your calories in balance and your weight from creeping up—and that will help keep your heart healthy.
- Apples crowd out unhealthy snacks. When you’re snacking on fruit like Rave® apples, it means you’re not reaching for chips and other high-calorie, low-nutrient munchies. Bonus: fruit is also stellar at satisfying a sweet tooth!
- They’re rich in antioxidants. A study at The Ohio State University found that eating an apple every day for four weeks lowered levels of a kind of “bad” cholesterol that triggers hardening of the arteries. Researchers say the kind of antioxidants in apples—called polyphenols–may be the reason why.
- They contain vitamin C. Apples contain vitamin C, which does more than bolster the immune system. In one study, people with high blood concentrations of vitamin C (a sign for high fruit and veggie intake) had lower BMIs, lower blood pressure, and lower levels of c-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation), all of which are linked to a lower risk for heart disease.
- Apples are free of saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol. Apples are naturally heart-healthy not only because of what they do contain, but also because of what they don’t—namely saturated fat, sodium, and cholesterol, which may all be harmful to heart health in large amounts.
- Apples fill you up. Apples are rich in two things that fill your belly and keep you fuller longer: fluid and fiber. These fruits are particularly rich in soluble fiber, which slow digestion—which may help you avoid overeating (and gaining weight!).
- Packed with potassium. This mineral is like kryptonite to sodium’s effects and may help keep blood pressure at a healthy level. That’s why potassium is a cornerstone of the DASH diet, a diet plan that emphasizes lots of fruits and vegetables and that’s been proven by research to help lower blood pressure.
- They’re full of flavonoids. Flavonoids are plant chemicals that that can help safeguard health. In a study of nearly 200,000 men and women, regularly eating apples and pears—both rich in a kind of flavonoid called anthocyanins–was associated with a lower risk for type 2 diabetes, a major risk factor for heart disease.
- They’re key to a heart-healthy diet. Fruits like apples are mainstays of a heart-healthy plan. The American Heart Association actually recommends getting 4-5 servings of fruit a day, and each medium Stemilt apple or pear counts as one of those servings.
Provided by Sally Kuzemchak, Real Mom Nutrition and Stemilt Kitchen Council Member. Sally is a registered dietitian.