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Polyphenol-Rich Dried Apples Linked With Lower Cholesterol

The idiom "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" now has more scientific support. A recent study suggests that eating dried apples may noticeably reduce total and LDL (or "bad") cholesterol in postmenopausal women.

One hundred sixty postmenopausal women consumed either 2.7 ounces of dried apples or the same amount of dried prunes over the course of one year. The researchers took blood samples at 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months.

After 3 months, they found that the apple group showed a 9% reduction in total cholesterol and a 16% reduction in LDL cholesterol. At 6 months, total cholesterol was 13% lower and LDL cholesterol was 24% lower than at the onset of the study.

The results for the prune group (3.5% lower total cholesterol and 8% lower LDL cholesterol after one year) were not statistically significant.

The study was conducted by researchers at Florida State University and was published online ahead of print on July 19, 2012, in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

The researchers believe that the beneficial effects seen here were the result of the high anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of dried apples. Apples skins are rich in polyphenols, an antioxidant that prevents cellular damage by free radicals. Previous studies have shown polyphenols to have anti-microbial and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Dried apples can be easily added to your daily diet. Just grab a bag of organic dried apples at your local health food store and carry it with you throughout the day. Instead of reaching for chips when you get hungry, go right for this antioxidant-rich snack.

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