Consuming 3 or more portions of strawberries and blueberries each week could help women decrease heart attack risk by as much as a third, report researchers. Strawberries and blueberries have high quantities of naturally occurring compounds known as dietary flavonoids, also present in blackberries, grapes and wine, eggplant and other vegetables and fruit. Anthocyanins, a certain sub-class of flavonoids, could help dilate arteries, counter the buildup of plaque as well as provide other cardiovascular benefits.
Strawberries and blueberries can easily be included into what women consume each week. This basic dietary change can have a significant effect on prevention efforts. Strawberries and blueberries were part of this analysis since they are the most consumed berries in the U. S. So, it’s possible that other food items could produce similar results.
Researchers performed a prospective study of 93,600 women aged 25 – 42 who completed questionnaires regarding their diet every 4 years for 18 years.
During the study, 405 heart attacks took place. Women who consumed the most strawberries and blueberries had a 32% reduction in their risk of heart attack when compared with those who consumed the berries once every thirty days or less – even in those who otherwise consumed a diet rich in other vegetables and fruit.
The research shows that even while young, consuming more of these fruits can reduce heart attack risk later in life.
The results were independent of other risk factors, including high blood pressure, age, body mass, family history of heart attack, smoking, exercise, alcohol or caffeine intake.