The dessert that cuts heart disease risk by a third

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Not every natural method for cutting your heart disease risk brings sweat to the brow. Instead, researchers at Harvard have found a sweeter way to protect your cardiovascular health.

Eat three or more servings of blueberries or strawberries a week, say scientists at the Harvard School of Public Health. They found the fruits protected the heart health of women taking part in research called the Nurses’ Health Study II.

“Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week,” says researcher Eric Rimm D.Sc., an association professor of nutrition and epidemiology. “This simple dietary change could have a significant impact on prevention efforts.”

“We have shown that even at an early age, eating more of these fruits may reduce risk of a heart attack later in life,” adds researcher Aedín Cassidy, Ph.D., head of the Department of Nutrition at Norwich Medical School of the University of East Anglia in Norwich, United Kingdom. Cassidy also took part in the study.

Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of natural chemicals called flavonoids that help dilate arteries and lower the risk of arterial plaque.

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.