You probably know that purple grapes, grape juice, and red wine all protect your heart. The antioxidants and resveratrol they contain help prevent a buildup of plaque in the arteries. This is why grapes in all their forms are an excellent way to prevent atherosclerosis. But grapes aren?t the only fruit with this action. Suddenly we?re finding that other fruits may have similar capabilities.
In the first study of its kind, a group of European researchers recently discovered that apples protect your heart too. What?s more, pressing the apples into juice didn?t lower their protective abilities. In fact, the chemical compounds that reduce arterial plaque became more bioavailable. Suddenly, there are at least two fruits that can help keep your arteries clear. The antioxidants in both apples and grapes have reduced oxidation and atherosclerosis in scientific studies.
I predict we?ll soon see some of these nutrients extracted from apples and turned into supplements. Without a doubt there will be more studies showing the heart-healthy benefits of other fruits, their juices, and the plant-based chemicals they contain.
With an abundance of "superfruits" on the market like mangosteen, noni, acai, and others - I suggest a little caution. These juices are high in antioxidants, but they?re also very expensive, and the jury?s still out as to whether or not they?re worth the cost. Some cost as much as $50 a month.
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So if you don?t want to have a glass of expensive juice or wine at night, just add some apple juice to your morning smoothie. Or eat an apple for a mid-afternoon snack. There are numerous paths to a healthy heart, and it looks like there are a variety of fruits to help you reach your goal.
Your voice of reason in Women's Health,
Dr. Janet Zand
Decorde, K., Teisserdre, C., Cristol, J., Rouanet, J. Phenolics from purple grape, apple, purple grape juice and apple juice prevent early atherosclerosis induced by an atherogenic diet in hamsters. Molecular Nutrition & Food Research. 2008, 52, 400-407.