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Eating apples may do your heart good

Contact: Denise Yockey
(800) 456-2753

What better time than “American Heart Month” to pay homage to a red, juicy fruit, full of flavor and whose many health benefits may include protecting your heart?

Of course, we're talking about the apple, which for centuries has symbolized good nutrition and whose healthful reputation continues to grow, giving consumers more reasons than ever to love this flavorful fruit.

Scientists recently calculated the antioxidant power of an apple is equal to more than 1,500 milligrams of vitamin C. Antioxidants are considered beneficial to heart health because they protect blood vessels and keep LDL cholesterol in a less damaging form.

Apples are low in calories, and contain no fat, saturated fat or cholesterol. They are also an excellent source of fiber, which can help the body rid itself of fat and lower cholesterol levels. Diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol and rich in fruits that contain fiber have been shown to lower blood cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 30 percent.

“Not only do apples have seemingly endless nutritional benefits, it will also do your heart good to know that by purchasing Michigan apples you support the 1,000 apple growers in our state,” said Denise Yockey, executive director of the Michigan Apple Committee.

Other studies in recent years have found that apples may also help to improve memory and lung function, aid in weight loss, as well as reduce the risk of breast cancer.

February was first proclaimed National Heart Month by President Lyndon Johnson in 1964. Despite great advancements in diagnosing and treating heart ailments in the last 40 years, more people die from cardiovascular disease annually than from the next five leading causes of death combined, including cancer, diabetes, accidents and influenza/pneumonia.

For more information, visit www.MichiganApples.com/health. The Michigan Apple Committee is a grower-funded nonprofit organization devoted to promotion, education and research activities to distinguish the Michigan apple and encourage its consumption by consumers in Michigan and around the world.