Berries protect your heart

Lately healthy eaters have been talking about some tiny fruits that promise to bring a new wide range of big health benefits: berries. They seem to be the richest fruits in antioxidants and to deliver daily recommended doses of fiber and plenty of vitamin C. And this is not all they can do. According to a recent study eating more blueberries and strawberries may be a tasty way to protect your heart.

The study led by an associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School looked at 93,600 women aged 25 to 42 when the study was started. Over the course of 18 years, they reported how often they ate various kinds of food.

The findings showed that women who ate the fewest blueberries and strawberries were at increased risk of heart attack. Those who ate the most were 34% less likely to have suffered a heart attack than were women who ate the least of these fruits.

How much do you have to eat? There wasnt much difference between women who ate just a few berries now and then and those who didnt eat any at all. There seems to be a threshold effect. It was observed that people with heart benefits had three or more servings of a half a cup of blueberries or strawberries each week.

According to Harvard Medical School, even if the study focused on young and middle-aged women the findings likely apply to everyone, including men.

Berries are particularly rich in chemical compounds called anthocyanins. Research suggests that anthocyanins have several effects on the body. They lower blood pressure, and they make blood vessels more elastic....