Berries Protect Your Heart!



Listening to NPR today (I should say straining to hear over the yell-singing of two rambunctious ballerinas), I was thrilled to hear about new research saying the consumption of berries is showing heart benefits for women.

Turns out those anthocyanins we have been hearing about in red wine and pomegranate juice are also in many varieties of richly colored berries, such as blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, and others can help protect women from heart attacks and disease. 

“We showed for the first time that a regular intake of substances that are naturally present in red-, blue-colored fruits and vegetables can reduce the risk of a heart attack by about 32 percent in young and middle-aged women [ages mid-40s to 60],” compared with women who ate berries once a month or less, says study author Aedin Cassidy of the University of East Anglia. The researchers found other fruits such as apples and pears were not associated with a decreased risk.”

We have heart disease from many angles in my family. I know that even as an active vegetarian, my genetics leave me behind, especially (ahem) the older I get. This is something I need to keep a constant eye on. So I am thrilled that consuming copious amounts of berries through my morning smoothie or in oatmeal will have protective benefits. 
How can you get more berries in your diet?

  • Make smoothies with whatever you have on hand: berries (of course!), yogurt, applesauce, juice, milk
  • Add blueberries to oatmeal or cereal
  • Have fancy desserts of yogurt and berries
  • Add berries to most baked goods 
  • Eat frozen blueberries as a snack treat
  • In winter buy and eat frozen berries
What do you think about this new research, and what are your ideas for eating more berries?

Does this count? I think YES!

image:  by VancityAllie on Flickr under CC
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