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(article, Ashley Griffin Gartland)
Ladies, take heart. And we mean that literally, because fall ushers in not one but three heart-healthy harvests: grapes, apples, and pears. Sure, red wine (i.e., grapes) has been much-ballyhooed as a heart-friendly drink. Now research suggests that apples and pears rank alongside red wine as potent defenses against heart disease in postmenopausal women. The findings, reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in March, suggest that foods rich in flavonoids help protect the heart, and that apples and pears have some of the highest flavonoid levels around. Other research says that soon-to-be moms might take advantage of apples' healthy benefits as well. According to a new study conducted at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland, women who eat apples during pregnancy may reduce the risk of their children developing asthma or wheezing. Apple-crunching is also good advice for men, who, while they might have been ignored in these female-oriented studies, can still benefit from apples' soluble and insoluble fiber, flavonoids, and antioxidants – all of which promote good health for everyone. Plus, they're a portable, healthy snack.