High cholesterol triggers inflammation and the release of a certain hormone causing blood vessels to constrict, thereby increasing blood pressure readings. The culprits can dramatically increase the risk of heart attack and stroke. The two conditions, however, could be reversed with a fruit that has potent effects in maintaining good cardiovascular health and increasing longevity.
Apples provide minerals such as potassium and substances called flavonoids, both of which are linked to blood pressure.
A study published in the Critical Review in Food Science and Nutrition in 2020, found that consuming between 1000 and 150g of whole apples was associated with a lower cardiovascular risk of blood pressure.
The study, which included 30 healthy men and women aged 33 to 70, assessed the effects of whole apples on blood pressure.
The study participants were randomly assigned to four different groups.
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The results showed that those who consumed 120 grams of apple flesh and 80 grams of apple peel significantly reduced their average systolic blood pressure values by 3.3 mm Hg.
Blood pressure is measured by systolic pressure and diastolic pressure. Systolic pressure occurs when the heart contracts, forcing blood through the arteries. When the heart is at rest between beats, the blood pressure drops to its lowest value, called the diastolic pressure.
A generally healthy individual produces a systolic pressure of between 90 and 120 mm Hg (mercury) and a diastolic pressure of between 60 and 80 mm Hg. Overall, a normal blood reading is a little below 120/90 mm. Hg.
The researchers also concluded that the evidence from the studies showed that consuming at least one whole apple per day is significantly associated with a reduction in the risk of all-cause mortality by 14%.
The NHS as a general guide has recommended that total cholesterol levels be 5 mmol / L or less for healthy adults.
In the UK, three in five adults have a total cholesterol level of 5 mmol / L or more, and the average cholesterol level is around 5.7 mmol / L, which can be a risk factor for development coronary heart disease.
High cholesterol – especially LDL or “bad cholesterol” – builds up on the lining of the arteries and triggers the release of inflammatory substances that increase the risk of a heart attack.
Apples are a great source of soluble fiber, which is known to lower LDL cholesterol in the body.
The researchers pointed out that eating two or three medium apples a day might offer slight improvements in your lipid profile.
Notably, consuming up to two to three medium-sized apples could lower total cholesterol by up to 10 percent and increase “good” HDL cholesterol by 10 percent.
Researchers believe that the ingredients that contribute the most to improving cholesterol levels are pectin and polyphenols.
In addition, the polyphenols in apples can decrease the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which contributes to the formation of atherosclerosis, a disease of the arteries.