Berries Can Help Lower The Risk of a Heart Attack
Brightly colored fr1uits such as strawberries and blueberries are rich in vitamins and anti-oxidants. According to a study published by researchers from Harvard School of Public Health (USA) and from University of East Anglia (UK), berries could help to prevent heart attacks and cardiovascular disease. Eating strawberries and blueberries all year round can reduce the risk of a heart attack, according to the study. The study focused on 93,600 nurses aged 25 to 42 and who answered a set of questions regarding their diet and health which was monitored for more than 18 years and in intervals of four years.
Lower Cardiovascular Risk with Berries
With 405 heart attacks reported in the study, the risk was 32 percent less in women who consumed blueberries and strawberries and with a frequency of at least three times a week. This was compared to a control group which ate berries only once a month or less. The study also revealed that participants with a diet loaded with many vegetables and fruits would still have additionally lowered chances of experiencing heart attacks if they ate more strawberries and blueberries. The study concluded that the regular consumption of these fruits at an early age may reduce the threat of a heart ailment later. These results were not affected by other factors such as high blood pressure, age, sports, smoking, family history of blood clots, body mass index and caffeine intake.
Anthocyanins in Berries
The protective effect may be due to “anthocyanins”, a flavonoid that can helps arteries to expand and has a capacity to fight against fatty deposits on the walls of blood vessels. Flavonoids are also present in grapes, blueberries, eggplant and some other fruits and vegetables.
Flavonoids as Antioxidants
Flavonoids are antioxidants found in the peel of citrus fruit, berries, vegetables, tea, onions, red wine and chocolate and can protect against a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, certain types of cancer and dementia.
Love Those Red and Purple Fruits
The study shows a link between a diet rich in most all red and purple fruits such as blackberries, blueberries and strawberries which reduce the risk of heart attack in young and middle-aged women. Although the study is observational, the researchers noted that more fruits of this kind have a significant effect on the prevention of cardiovascular disease.
Reducing Heart Disease and Parkinson’s
Heart disease is the leading cause of death amongst women and comparatively more than men. Still more research is needed to understand the relationship between berries and improvement of our heart’s health. Two years ago, a study conducted by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) led by Xiang Gao, a nutrition researcher showed that those participants in his study who regularly ate berries reduced their risk of Parkinson’s disease as well.
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