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Can berries help prevent heart attacks?

By on Feb 5, 2013

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A new study claims that eating summer fruits such as strawberries and blueberries three times a week could drastically reduce the risk of heart attacks. The study was carried out on women, but these findings can also be applied to men. So can berries help prevent heart attacks? Read on to find out more…

Can berries help prevent heart attacks?Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the University of East Anglia analysed data from 93,600 female nurses between 25 and 42 years. They were monitored every four years for 18 years. 405 heart attacks were reported during the study.

The results found that the women who ate strawberries and blueberries at least three times a week had a 32 per cent lower risk of getting a heart attack, than those who ate the berries less frequently. The researchers also found that the berries were more effective at preventing heart attacks than other fruits and vegetables.

The reasons behind this effect could be due to the anthocyanin content in the berries that can help to improve blood flow and prevent the build up of plaque on the blood vessels.

Dr Eric Rimm, associate professor of nutrition and epidemiology at HSPH said, “Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week. This simple dietary change could have a significant impact on prevention efforts.”

Dr Aedin Cassidy, from the University of East Anglia said, “We have shown that even at an early age, eating more of these fruits may reduce risk of a heart attack in later life.”