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Berries may reduce risk of heart disease

blueberries strawberries

blueberries strawberriesA recent US study has found that eating a serving of blueberries or strawberries three times per week may cut the risk of heart attacks in women by a third (not that we need an excuse to eat more strawberries and blueberries… yum!).

How does that work?

These berries contain the dietary flavonoid anthocyanin, which is responsible for the red, blue and purple colours in a wide variety of fruits and vegetable. It doesn’t just change the colour of your food though, it also may benefit your heart by countering the buildup of plaque in your arteries, and help improve blood flow.

In conjunction with a healthy, balanced diet and regular exercise, upping your intake of blueberries or strawberries may help reduce your risk of heart disease. This is important as The Heart Foundation says that heart disease is the single biggest killer of women in New Zealand, yet most women don’t know this.

How should I add them into my diet?

In summertime when they’re in season, both strawberries and blueberries are relatively plentiful, however in winter time your best option is to purchase frozen berries which you can find in the freezer at your local supermarket.

OOB Organic (www.oob.co.nz), a Matakana-based blueberry orchard that has been selling their organic blueberries in New Zealand for over 10 years, say frozen blueberries retain all the flavour and antioxidant-rich goodness of fresh blueberries; plus they are convenient.

Up your antioxidants by adding strawberries or blueberries to your cereal or porridge, blend them into a smoothie, add them into your baking, snack on them as-is throughout the day (if they are defrosted or fresh!) or use as a healthy dessert.

blueberries

Image / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – Aduldej (top); Supplied (bottom)

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