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We Heart Berries

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We know that blueberries pack a lot of important nutrition into those delicious little orbs. Now, a new study in Circulation, the Journal of the American Heart Association, reports that eating 3 or more servings of blueberries and strawberries each week could help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by as much as a third.

  • What’s in there? Blueberries and strawberries contain lots of anthocyanins, powerful antioxidant compounds that give red and blue foods — like blueberries, cherries, grapes, eggplant, black beans, red lettuces, tomatoes and more — their gorgeous colors.
  • How does it work? These compounds’ antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects may help protect against cellular damage and keep arteries flexible and elastic, which could help defend against heart disease.
  • You are what you eat. The effect persisted even when researchers corrected for other risk factors, such as age, high blood pressure, body mass, smoking, diet, exercise and family history.

Blueberries and strawberries are the most-often-eaten berries in the US. One serving is just 1/2 cup — easy, when you’re talking yummy berries! They’re also some of the most important produce to buy organic to avoid pesticide residues.

Take Today’s Step and toss some delicious organic berries into your meals this week. In your morning oatmeal, lunchtime salad, dinner or snack, three’s the charm (3 servings = just 1-1/2 cups). Even better, studies show the same benefits from frozen as from fresh. So...berry up!

Learn more: Follow the story on NPR’s great food blog, The Salt, and from the American Cancer Society

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