Eating for Heart Health - Benefits of Consuming Certain Fruits

Alyssa Atkinson

Plant based ingredients backed by science.

It is no secret that cardiovascular disease is one of the most prominent causes of death, especially in America.

While there are many different factors that affect a person’s likelihood of developing heart disease, such as their genetics, lifestyle, and exercise routine, food also plays a huge role.

Most of us are well aware of key foods to avoid consuming in excess that have been linked to negative health impacts — red meat, processed sugar, etc. On the flip side, you can actually improve your overall health in meaningful ways by eating key ingredients packed with nutrients.

A lot of these ingredients fall into two main categories — fruits and vegetables. In this article, I’m going to focus on three specific fruits that have properties which have been linked to increased health. Here they are.

Disclaimer: The resources and information shared in this article are solely for entertainment purposes and aren’t intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition or disease or provide any professional advice.

This Crunchy Fruit

When I was in middle school, I was forced to get braces. There were three major reasons why I hated them at the time — they were painful, they made brushing my teeth more difficult, and I couldn’t eat many of my favorite foods the way that I used to. This included one of my favorite sweet and crunchy fruits — the apple.

Once I got my braces off in high schoool, one of the first things I did was bite into a sweet, fresh, crunchy apple. As it turns out, the old saying that: “an apple a day keeps the doctor away” isn’t entirely wrong.

In fact, research has shown that:

“Apples are among the most frequently consumed fruits and a rich source of polyphenols and fiber…Epidemiological studies have identified associations between frequent apple consumption and reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease.”

While correlation does not necessarily equate to causation, there is no doubt that apples are chalked full of vitamins and minerals, such as fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.

Thus, the apple is the first simple yet incredibly tasty fruit that can provide you with vitamins and minerals, ultimately boosting your overall health.

This Small but Mighty Berry

If there is one lesson I’ve learned over the years, it is that the smallest things in life often have the greatest impacts. This doesn’t apply only to small acts or simple habits.

Blueberries may be a very small fruit, but they pack a very powerful punch in terms of boosting overall health. Interestingly, the antioxidants in blueberries have been strongly linked to:

“reduced levels of oxidized LDL. This makes blueberries very good for your heart…[a] study determined that eating 2.5 ounces (75 grams) of blueberries with a main meal significantly reduced the oxidation of “bad” LDL cholesterol.”

This link is a key reason why blueberries can be beneficial for both your heart and overall health. If you are unsure how to incorporate them into your diet, you can easily add them on top of oatmeal bowls, pop them as a snack, or throw them into a smoothie.

This Sweet Orange Melon

Cantaloupe is a fruit that I grew to love in my first few years of college. When I lived on campus my freshman year, I was required to eat at the dining halls, which meant that my food options were somewhat limited.

However, one fruit that was always available was cantaloupe. I ate a small bowl of it almost every single day. It was especially satisfying during the warm months, because it was sweet, juicy, and always kept chilled.

Without even realizing it, I was boosting my health as a result of consuming the rich sources of vitamins A and C found in cantaloupe. According to registered dietitian and nutritionist Heather Mangieri,

“Free radicals cause cell damage and disruption that can contribute to diseases. [Antioxidants such as vitamins A and C] may help prevent conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and arthritis”

I definitely need to make an effort to add cantaloupe back into my rotation, for both the delicious taste and the positive health benefits. You may want to consider doing the same.

As I’ve always stressed, no single ingredient can instantly make you a healthy and fit individual. Finding true health is all about developing sustainable habits that you can stick with long term. This includes eating a healthy, balanced diet and developing an exercise routine that works for you.

If you can master both of those practices and commit to them each and every day, you will find your happiest, healthiest self in no time.

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Ohio U XC/Track alum. I love to run. I blog about food, health, fitness, lifestyle, etc. Personal Blog - | Electrical and Computer Engineering Grad.

Raleigh, NC

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