According to a study published in American Heart Association’s Circulation journal, women who eat at least three servings of strawberries and blueberries every week may have their heart attack risk reduced by up to one-third.
Strawberries and blueberries are excellent sources of dietary flavonoids. One type of flavonoids known as anthocyanins can promote the dilation of arteries, prevent or reduce plaque buildup, and provide other heart healthy benefits. Other foods that contain flavonoids include eggplant, blackberries, grapes and wine, and other vegetables and fruits.
The study was conducted by researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia in the UK, and it involved the observation of 93,600 women who were between the ages of 25 and 42. Over a period of 18 years, the subjects were given questionnaires about their diet to complete once every four years. A total of 405 heart attacks were recorded throughout the course of the study. Women who consumed the most strawberries and blueberries had their risk of heart attack reduced by about 32%, compared to those who ate the same berries once a month or less, including some who otherwise had a diet that consisted of high amounts of other fruits and vegetables.
Senior author of the research, Dr. Eric Rimm from the Harvard School of Public Health, said that women can make their efforts to prevent health problems significantly more effective by including strawberries and blueberries in their diet.
The American Heart Association encourages people to eat more berries and other fruits and vegetables, as well as whole-grain products. Consuming a wider variety of healthy foods is an effective way to get the right types and amounts of nutrients.