Keep Your Ticker Healthy with USApple Association’s 28 Days of Apples During American Heart Month (February)

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USApple Shares Essential Reminders, Research and Tips on Apples’ Heart Health Benefits

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USApple Presents 28 Reasons for an Apple a Day During American Heart Month in February.

February is all about the heart — from Valentine’s Day to it being American Heart Month. USApple Association (USApple) challenges individuals to take care of their heart — and their honey’s heart — by spending each day enjoying apples and encouraging their loved ones to do the same. Apples are even more convenient and accessible than a box of chocolates this month — and proven to fight many of the factors that contribute to heart disease.

“While heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, multiple studies consistently show that eating an apple – or two – a day can contribute to lower levels of bad cholesterol, weight loss, skinnier waist lines, improved circulation and more factors that prevent heart disease,” said Wendy Brannen, Director of Consumer Health and Public Relations. “During this important month for thinking about good-for-the-heart eating, we want to provide individuals a reminder of the important role this super food found in every supermarket plays in lowering your health risks.”

To help inspire a heart-healthy lifestyle, USApple and its members are offering consumers apple-related items on its Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/USApples) from Feb. 1 through Feb. 28. And, USApple is sharing 28 essential reminders, research findings and tips – one for each day in February – to eat at least an apple a day:

1.    Fact: An Ohio State University study found that eating an apple for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL – the “bad” cholesterol – by 40 percent.

2.    Tip: Cut fat and calories by substituting applesauce for oil when baking.

3.    Fact: “Apples contain more than 20 vitamins and minerals in addition to heart-healthy fiber.” – Stephanie Perez, Registered Dietician

4.    Tip: Start the day supporting heart and head with this Brainy Apple Avocado Breakfast Salad (http://www.usappleblog.org/apple-avocado-breakfast-salad/).

5.    Fact: Researchers from the University of Oxford found regularly eating apples after the age of 50 can prevent or delay vascular-related death, such as heart attack and stroke.

6.    Tip: Refrigerate apples as soon as possible to slow ripening and maintain flavor. Properly-refrigerated apples can keep anywhere from 4-6 weeks.

7.    Fact: A University of Florida study found eating two apples a day reduced LDL by 23 percent.

8.    Fact: A 4oz. glass of apple juice counts as a serving toward the recommended USDA dietary guidelines.

9.    Tip: Mix it up: Pair apples with other heart-healthy foods like walnuts and cranberries for a delicious snack. (http://appletizeme.com/cameo-walnuts-dried-cranberries/)

10.    Fact: Studies show people who eat apples or apple products regularly are more likely to have lower blood pressure and trimmer waistlines.

11.    Tip: Make a heart-healthy dessert with these Do-It-Yourself Applesauce Toppings Bar suggestions. (http://www.usappleblog.org/recipe-applesauce-toppings-bar/)

12.    Fact: U.S. researchers report that for every 10 grams of fiber consumed per day, the risk of developing heart disease may decrease 14 percent, and the risk of dying from heart disease may decrease 27 percent. Fiber from fruits appeared to be slightly more protective than cereal fiber, lowering the risk of coronary disease death by 30 percent.

13.    Tip: To prevent browning, cut and coat apple slices and dices in a mixture of one part lemon juice to three parts water, in vitamin C-fortified 100% apple juice or in a commercial anti-browning product. Eat within two hours, or refrigerate immediately until use.

14.    Fact: Researchers from State University of Rio de Janeiro found that overweight women who eat three apples a day lost more weight on a low-calorie diet than women who didn’t add fruit to their diet.

15.    Tip: Make lunch fun and healthy with this Sweet-and-Cheesy Apple Panini. (http://www.usappleblog.org/sweet-and-cheesy-apple-panini/)

16.    Fact: A French study found that diets with the highest total dietary fiber and nonsoluble dietary fiber intakes were associated with a significantly lower risk of several heart disease risk factors, including being overweight, elevated waist-to-hip ratio, high blood pressure and cholesterol levels

17.    Tip: Toss a bag of pre-sliced apples in the lunchbox, backpack or briefcase for a crisp, convenient pick−me−up anytime.

18.    Fact: Some studies indicate the antioxidants in apple juice may play a role in reducing the risk of heart disease.

19.    Fact: Researchers found that daily apple consumption is significantly more effective at lowering oxidized LDL than other antioxidants, including green tea and tomato extract.

20.    Tip: For dinnertime, make the tummy and the ticker happy with this light, delicious Apple, Fennel & Chicken Salad with Couscous. (http://www.usappleblog.org/recipe-apple-fennel-chicken-salad-with-couscous/)

21.    Fact: Ursolic acid, a natural compound found in the apple’s skin, may prevent muscle wasting that can result from aging or illness.

22.    Tip: Wash each apple under cool, running water and dry with a clean paper towel before serving.

23.    Fact: Apples are among the tastiest and best sources of soluble fiber.

24.    Tip: Select apples that are firm to the touch, have a good aroma and are free of skin breaks and bruises.

25.    Fact: The health benefits of apples and apple products were first recorded as early as medieval times, giving rise to the old English saying, “Ate an apfel avore gwain to bed makes the doctor beg his bread,” an earlier take on, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

26.    Tip: Dried apples are a great alternative to fresh apple slices and are easily added to breakfast foods, baked goods, granola and more. Here’s how to dry apples at home: http://www.usappleblog.org/featured-apple-product-dried-apples/

27.    Fact: A study of post-menopausal women found increased consumption of apples may contribute to a decrease in mortality from both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease.

28.    Tip: Drink to good health with this antioxidant-packed Super Protector Smoothie featuring apples, oranges and broccoli. http://www.usappleblog.org/recipe-super-protector/

Follow USApple on social media at facebook.com/USApples, twitter.com/US_Apples, pinterest.com/USApples/, and youtube.com/USAppleAssoc. To learn more about apples and apple varieties, visit USApple.org and USAppleBlog.org. For a regular slice of new apple recipes and fresh information, sign up for USApple’s e-newsletter at usappleblog.org/sign-up.html.

About USApple
USApple Association is the national trade association representing all segments of the apple industry. Members include 40 state and regional associations representing the 7,500 apple growers throughout the country, as well as more than 400 individual firms involved in the apple business. More information on the organization is available at USApple.org.

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Wendy Brannen
U.S. Apple Association
+1 703.442.8850
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