apples_fresh_2-cac023642d63aaf65be16c8a588f98e5

Upping the Apple Ante: Experts Say Eat Two a Day

Coined a “miracle fruit,” the unassuming apple stunned a team of researchers at Florida State University. They found that eating two apples a day for six months can reduce artery-blocking LDL by 23 percent. According to Bahram H. Arjmandi, Ph. D., director for the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging at the Florida State University, “I buy a bag a week and try to eat two per day. I am convinced this is what I should do if I want to remain healthy.”

According to the U.S. Apple Association (USApple), mounting research suggests that powerful antioxidants in apples and apple products may play an essential role in reducing the risk of many of the world’s most prevalent diseases, including cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.

“Published scientific research tells us that apples and apple products are a great way to add a dose of disease prevention to your daily diet,” says Nancy Foster, USApple’s president and CEO.

To encourage consumers to eat even more apples, USApple offers the following “Delicious Duos,” teaming apples and apple products with other powerhouse ingredients that help support specific health and nutrition goals. “Apples are healthy and delicious on their own, but when paired with other superfoods, you just might double the enjoyment,” Foster says.

Superfood Duo: Apples + Salmon
Benefit: Helps ward off heart disease
In the study conducted at Florida State,  women who ate apples experienced a 23 percent decrease in LDL “bad” cholesterol, and a 3 to 4 percent increase in their HDL “good” cholesterol – ” a boost difficult to achieve with drugs or exercise,” said Arjmandi, who led the study. Combine the power of apples with good-cholesterol-raising omega-3-rich salmon in this Apple Balsamic Salmon dish.

Superfood Duo: Apples + Oats
Benefit: Helps improve brain health
A clinical trial found that that consuming two 4-ounce servings of apple juice daily significantly improved mood and behavior among a group of patients diagnosed with moderate-to-severe Alzheimer’s disease. Also, Cornell University research suggests that quercetin may be the compound in apples that protects brain cells against oxidative stress associated with Alzheimer’s. Craving some brainfood? Try these Apple-Cran Granola Bars with dried apples, apple juice and other smart ingredients, like oats.

Superfood Duo: Apples + Greek Yogurt
Benefits: Helps protect bone health
A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that older women who eat plenty of fruits, including apples, may have a lower chance of bone fractures than those not getting their fill. This quick and easy Applesauce Breakfast Parfait is packed with apples and applesauce, along with Greek-style yogurt (swap out for regular yogurt for an even bigger calcium and vitamin D boost).

Superfood Duo: Apples + Ginger
Benefits: Helps fight inflammation
Inflammation in the body can cause or contribute to obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and many types of cancers. Fortunately, the polyphenols found in apples have been shown to suppress inflammation and remove cell-damaging free radicals from the body. Combine apples with the inflammation-fighting power of ginger in this Apple Ginger Chiller; enjoy after a long workout.

For even more healthful reasons to eat apples daily, USApple has developed “The Delicious Dozen” – 12 ways apples and apple products can positively impact your health.

Lynn Snyder 

Lynn Snyder is senior director of communications for Ohio Farm Bureau.