Eating strawberries and blueberries could stave off heart attacks, according to researchers
Snacking on strawberries and blueberries could stave off heart attacks in women, reducing the risk by up to a third.
The findings come from an ongoing US study of nurses. Women aged 25-42 participated in questionnaires about their diet while their health was monitored over an 18-year period.
405 heart attacks were recorded during the study, but women who ate strawberries and blueberries at least three times a week were 32 per cent lower risk than those who ate the fruits once a month or less.
Even participants who ate a lot of other fruits and vegetables were more likely to experience heart attacks if they avoided strawberries and blueberries.
Experts believe the benefits come from the high content of flavonoids in berry fruits, which seem to combat blocked arteries.
Flavonoids are antioxidant compounds found in plants, as well as tea and red wine, which can protect against a wide range of diseases, including heart disease and dementia.
Dr Eric Rimm, one of the senior study authors from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, 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.’