apples

  1. Could an apple a day drive LDL cholesterol down?

    One fruit slashes your LDL cholesterol fast

    Next time you head to the store to pick up your cholesterol meds you might want to reach for some apples too.

    It turns out that an apple a day could be the key to keeping the statins at bay.

    According to research, apples are a natural cholesterol regulator fighting LDL cholesterol levels. And we're not talking a small reduction here. Heck, I wouldn't even call it a modest one. One study finds an apple habit could slash your LDL cholesterol levels by a stunning 40 percent in just 30 days!

    Given the choice between a juicy delicious apple or a heavy duty statin whose side effects could include kidney damage, liver damage, and serious muscle pain I sure know which one I would choose, but what about you?

    I'd call that the very definition of a no-brainer.

    And, as if a 40 percent drop in LDL cholesterol wasn't impressive enough, this super fruit has even more to offer. Statins are linked with diabetes, but people who indulge in apples have a lower risk of the disease.

    Just be sure your heading to the produce aisle and not the supplement aisle... this time it's the whole food that's going to give you the most benefits.

    Volunteers who received the polyphenols from apples in the form of a supplement didn't see quite as dramatic results. Although their LDL cholesterol levels did dip they couldn't compete with the apple-eaters results.

    If you choose dried instead of fresh apples you can expect to see your cholesterol levels drop too. But according to another study the reduction is likely to be a bit slower and bit less impressive... around 24 percent in half a year.

    To get all the juicy details on that study click here to read the free report in my House Calls archives.

    Oh, and don't forget, when it comes to apples, organic is really the only way to go. Conventional apples are swimming in pesticides.

  2. Apples and pears can lower stroke risk

    Supposedly cutting-edge procedures like the brain stent I just mentioned won't lower your risk of stroke -- and they might even kill you.

    But you don't have to turn to risky surgery or unproven meds to keep a stroke at bay: A new study finds all you might really need is more of the foods you already enjoy.

    And no, it's not candy and cake (nice try, though).

    Dutch researchers tracked the eating habits of nearly 21,000 people with an average age of 41 and no signs of heart disease at the start of the 10-year study.

    During that time, 233 people suffered a stroke -- with the volunteers who ate the most white fruits and vegetables (think apples, pears, and bananas) 52 percent less likely to be among them.

    Even those who ate just a little got a benefit: The researchers wrote in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association that just a few slices of apple a day, for example, can lower the risk by 9 percent.

    Along with apples, pears and bananas, the researchers say white fruits and vegetables include cauliflower, chicory, and cucumbers -- but not potatoes. Those are actually a starch, and -- let's face it -- you shouldn't be eating them anyway (especially if they come from any place that has a big golden M on the sign).

    The catch here is that the study was based on the least reliable form of science: the food frequency questionnaire. In other words, let's file this one under "interesting" but not something you need to start planting an apple orchard for.

    The study also didn't show why these fruits and vegetables might be able to slash the risk of stroke -- but the smart money is on the terrific antioxidant flavonoids such as quercetin, the pigment that helps turn apples red (and gives even green pears those red patches you so often see).

    Along with other bioflavonoids -- including the lutein and zeaxanthin also found in apple and pear skins -- quercetin may help protect your heart and even lower your risk of cancer.

    If you're not eating an apple, pear or banana every day, you can get these and other great nutrients from a high-quality bioflavonoid supplement.

  3. Apples top pesticide list

    I know it feels like summer has only just begun, but fall is right around the corner -- and that means apple season is almost here. Don't be fooled by the apples you'll find in the supermarket year 'round -- most of them are actually months old... and you won't believe the tricks they use to keep them fresh.

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