New research at University of Michigan Health System suggests that including more apples in your diet could keep heart diseases at bay.

Dr. Mitch Seymour, lead researcher reports, "When rodents prone to obesity were given a higher fat diet – similar to a 'typical American' diet – and fed a freeze dried powder made from whole apples (roughly equivalent to two medium-sized apples per day), the results showed a heart health benefit that went beyond cholesterol reduction alone."

Researchers have still not found how it exactly works, but they think reduction in oxidative stress, may play a major role. The phytochemicals (or antioxidant components) in apples might have helped.

During the study, the rodents were often given a standard diet, with apple pectin, a source of fiber, or freeze-dried powder made from apples. Diet for both the groups was kept constant, till about four months.

At the end of the study period, researchers tested cholesterol level, oxidative stress level, blood pressure, and overall heart function in the rodents, and observed that the whole apple powder also reduced oxidative stress, reduced blood pressure and bettered the functioning of the heart.