TweetNew research shows that eating apples on a daily basis may lower levels of cholesterol and C-reactive protein (CRP), a key marker of inflammation in the blood.
In the study or 160 women ages 45 to 65, half of the participants ate 3/4 of a cup of dried apples everyday for a year, and the other half ate a cup of prunes - each 240 calories. Within 6 months, the apple eaters' LDL (bad) cholesterol increased 4% and their CRP decreased 32%. "Lower CRP is better for people with many inflammatory related diseases, such as (rheumatoid arthritis) and atherosclerosis, "says study author Bahram H. Arjmandi, PhD, chair for Florida State University's department of nutrition, food and exercise science in Tallahassee.
Those who ate the dried apples also lose on average of 3.3 pounds compared with the prune-eaters' 1.1 pound gain. "It's the pectin, a soluble fiber that gels in the gastrointestinal tract, "Arjmandi says. Previous studies have shown pectin can help curb appetite.
Which are the best: dried, fresh or baked apples? "It doesn't matter, though over-ripeness breaks down the pectin," he says. "These apples are those you like to eat." -Claire Sykes.