Drinking juice prevents clogged arteries

Monday, May 19, 2008

Heart health
Researchers at Université Montpellier 2 in France say juices made from apples and purple grapes — or eating the fruit raw — protects your arteries. The fruit were found to be good for your heart's health because of their high levels of the antioxidant phenols.

While other studies have already reported that antioxidants make for a healthy heart, this is the first time scientists have looked at how juicing the fruit affects the levels of the artery-saving antioxidant.

Four apples a day
It doesn't take much to gain the benefits of apple and purple grape juice. Just down four glasses of juice a day (for a person weighing 70kg), or alternatively eat three apples or three bunches of purple grapes, and you'll be well on your way to a healthier heart and blockage-free arteries.

The study found that purple grape juice had the strongest effect, followed by purple grapes, apple juice and then apples.

Health benefits
Aside from unclogging arteries, the researchers also looked at how eating various fruit affected the risk of atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of fatty plaque deposits in the arteries. These pesky plaque build-ups can lead to heart attacks or strokes.

The results will no doubt have you reaching for your juicer. Drinking fruit juice or eating fruit means lower cholesterol levels, less oxidative stress, and less fat accumulation in the aorta, which is the main vessel supplying oxygenated blood to the body.

The team of researchers, led by Kelly Decorde, say that while the amount of phenols found in food have a direct effect on the food's antioxidant properties, other antioxidants, such as vitamin C and carotenoids, could also play a part.

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