Biting-apple_shutterstockMove over, Cupid, we have found the perfect Valentine: apples. February is American Heart Month, the perfect time to commit to eating apples. It can be one of the most convenient and accessible ways to fight many of the factors that contribute to heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States.
Not only are apples versatile and delicious, they are a super food packed with powerful antioxidants and heart health benefits. For anyone still looking for a Valentine that is sure to protect your heart, look no further than your nearest produce aisle.
Here are five reasons to make apples your significant other this year:

  1. An Ohio State University study found that eating an apple a day for four weeks lowered blood levels of oxidized LDL – the bad cholesterol – by 40 percent.
  2. A University of Oxford (UK) study found that eating an apple once a day may be just as beneficial as daily statin use when it comes to preventing vascular deaths in individuals over 50 years old.
  3. A University of Florida study found eating two apples a day reduced LDL by 23 percent.
  4. Studies show that people who eat apples or apple products regularly are more likely to have lower blood pressure and trimmer waistlines.
  5. 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. They also found that fiber from fruits appeared to be slightly more protective than cereal fiber, lowering the risk of coronary disease death by 30 percent.