January 14, 2012

Berries can be part of a heart-healthy diet

Mixed berriesEating lots of blueberries and strawberries may reduce a woman’s risk of a heart attack, according to new research.

Scientists in the UK and America studied the diet of more than 93,000 women aged 25 to 42 and found women who ate three or more portions of blueberries and strawberries per week had a 32 per cent reduction in the risk of a heart attack compared to women who ate berries once a month or less.

Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of the naturally occurring compounds called dietary flavonoids.

This is yet another good reason to make sure we get our five-a-day

Victoria Taylor, our Senior Dietitian, said: “This study found an association between a diet rich in red and purple fruits - blueberries, blackberries and strawberries - and a reduction in heart attack risk for young and middle aged women.

“However, more research is needed to understand why this link between berries and better heart health exists. We would need to know more before we make specific recommendations about individual fruit and vegetables in relation to heart disease.

“But in the meantime, this is yet another good reason to make sure we get our five-a-day and enjoy the wide variety of fruit and vegetables available to us.”

The research was published in American Heart Association Journal, Circulation.