who ate at least three servings of blueberries and strawberries each
week had fewer heart attacks. Blueberries and strawberries contain high
levels of natural nutritive compounds that have cardiovascular benefits.
Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week
may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as
one-third, research scientists reported in the professional publication
Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association.
Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of naturally occurring
compounds defined as dietary flavonoids; They're also naturally-present
in grapes and wine, blackberries, eggplant and other fruits and
vegetables. The specific class of flavonoids (known as anthocyanins) are
believed to help dilate arteries, helping prevent the buildup of plaque
and provide a range of cardiovascular benefits, according to the study.
"Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women
eat every week," explained researchers of Nutrition and Epidemiology at
the Harvard School
of Public Health in Boston, Mass. "This simple dietary change could have
a significant impact on prevention efforts."Blueberries and strawberries
are the most-commonly eaten berries in the United States. Other fruits,
berries and vegetable foods could provide the same benefits and
healthful results, the researchers said.
Scientists from the Harvard School of Public Health in the United States
and the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom conducted a
prospective study among 93,600 women ages 25 to 42 who were registered
with the Nurses' Health Study II.
The women completed questionnaires about their diet every four years for
During the study, 405 heart attacks occurred. Women who ate the most
blueberries and strawberries had a 32-percent reduction in their risk of
heart attack compared to women who ate the berries once a month or less
-- even in women who otherwise ate a diet rich in other fruits and
"We have shown that even at an early age, eating more of these fruits
may reduce risk of a heart attack later in life," confirmed the research
team from the Department of Nutrition at Norwich Medical School of the
University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom.
The findings were independent of other risk key factors, such as age,
high blood pressure, family history of heart attack, body mass,
exercise, smoking, caffeine or alcohol intake.
The American Heart Association supports eating berries as part of an
overall balanced diet that also includes other fruits, vegetables and
whole-grain products. Eating a variety of these healthful foods is the
best way to assure the proper levels of the specific dietary flavonoids
American Heart Association
Journal Reference: Circulation: Journal of the American Heart
"High Anthocyanin Intake Is Associated With a Reduced Risk of
Infarction in Young and Middle-Aged Women"
This article is for informational and educational purposes only; It is
not intended to provide medical advice,diagnosis or treatment. Contact
your doctor or healthcare professional for medical and nutritional