Want to avoid hardening of the arteries? Then follow the advice of "An apple a day..." New research, funded by the apple industry, demonstrates that eating a single apple a day can lead to a 40 percent reduction in the levels of oxidized LDL's -low density lipids. LDL's, the bad cholesterol, react with free radicals and cause inflammation and tissue damage. This damage leads to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries.
The study followed healthy middle-aged adults that ate one apple per day. Another group in the study took capsules containing polyphenols, a type of antioxidant found in apples. The effects were similar but not as large. The total effect of the apple a day regimen was superior to green tea, cinnamon (which I am allergic to based on a trial run) and tomato extract - though why one would use an extract is puzzling since a real home-grown tomato can't be beat for flavor.
If you want to read the whole study, it was published online in the Journal of Functional Foods.
My only real complaint is that the study used a very low number of participants. This can lead to false positives and misleading conclusions so take this with a small grain of salt. Or not, since salt leads to hardening of the arteries too. But be cautious.
Personally, I like apples so I'll keep eating them. If they help me avoid hardening of the arteries, great.