An Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away? Try Two, Says New Study

mbg Editorial Assistant By Christina Coughlin
mbg Editorial Assistant
Christina Coughlin is an editorial assistant at mindbodygreen. She graduated from Georgetown University in 2019 with a degree in psychology and music.
Bushels Full of Apples

Image by Jelena Jojic Tomic / Stocksy

We've all heard the saying "An apple a day keeps the doctor away," but is there really any science to back it up? Scientists at the University of Reading did some research to find out what the real health benefits are of this wondrous fruit and discovered that two may be the magic number to keep those doctors away and maintain proper health. 

Researchers followed a group of 40 mildly healthy participants over a period of eight weeks. The experimental group consumed two apples each day that were rich in a type of polyphenol compound called proanthocyanidins (PAs), while the control group consumed apple juice to match the levels of sugar and calories in the apples.

Results showed that the experimental group had decreased levels of LDL cholesterol and triacylglycerol, both of which can be harmful to health. Participants who ate the apples also showed improvements in overall blood vessel health, which is helpful in lowering the risk of heart disease. 

Per the results of the study, the researchers recommend consuming PA-rich apples daily for individuals with high cholesterol or increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

According to head researcher Julie Lovegrove, Ph.D., "This latest study shows that the impact of an easy to implement dietary change could have an important impact on key measures of heart disease risk. A particular interest in this study is how the two whole apples, rather than a sugar and calorie matched apple juice drink, has had a significant effect on markers of heart health of participants." 

With the alarming increase of heart disease and deaths across the country, this study reminds us of the small steps we can take to improve our health. Diet is a key element for maintaining good heart health, and even the simplest tricks can make a big difference. It can be as easy as two apples a day!

Ready to learn how to fight inflammation and address autoimmune disease through the power of food? Join our 5-Day Inflammation Video Summit with mindbodygreen’s top doctors.

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