Increasing your weekly consumption of berries to three or more times a week could decrease a woman’s chance of experiencing a heart attack by 33%.
We all know that we should be eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Apparently, however, not all fruits and vegetables are created equal when it comes to our heart. Harvard University researchers concluded after a long study that blueberries and strawberries can help keep your heart healthy and reduce your risk of a heart attack.
Harvard researchers recently published a study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association which revealed positive results for women who eat three of more servings of berries on a weekly basis. The scientists partnered with scientists from the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom to conduct this research. The study followed over 93,000 women ranging in age from 25 to 42, and compared their berry eating habits to a control group who ate berries on a significantly less frequent basis. The researchers believe that a compound called anthocyanin, found in high amounts in berries, provides many cardiovascular benefits including dilating the arteries and reducing plaque buildup.
Prevention is better than cure when it comes to your health, so start stocking up on the berries! Berries can be enjoyed alone or added to cereals, yogurt, and salads. Fresh, organic berries will offer the most nutritional value; however, if berries are out of season, your next best option is to buy the frozen variety. Frozen foods are picked and frozen at the peak of their season snap locking their nutrients in and are a great alternative to fresh.
So, ladies, next time you’re out shopping, pick up a few extra containers of strawberries and blueberries: your heart will thank you for it.
A recent UK study concluded that pregnant women who consume omega-3 fatty acids give birth to leaner children than pregnant women who consume omega-6 polyunsaturated fats. Read on to understand the science between this important dietary choice.
Everyone knows that what a pregnant woman eats can affect her unborn child. However, a recent study titled “Maternal Plasma Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid Status in Late Pregnancy is Associated with Offspring Body Composition in Childhood” published in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism examines the difference between diets high in omega-3 fatty acids versus diets high in omega-6 polyunsaturated fats.
The University of Southampton, UK’s Dr. Nicholas Harvey organized this research study, which examined over 250 pregnant women. They took blood samples and measured them for omega-6 and omega-3 levels. This study found a correlation between women whose blood contained high levels of omega-6 polyunsaturated fats and children who struggled with weight around the ages of four and six. The researchers concluded that women whose diets contained higher amounts of omega-6 from sources such as vegetable oils were more likely to have children with an increased fat mass than women whose diets contained higher amounts of omega-3 from sources such as fish.
The results of this study seem to be common sense; the scientific community has long endorsed the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids for overall health. It makes sense that these benefits would pass from a mother to her baby. Dr. Harvey’s study recommends increasing omega-3 consumption while limiting omega-6 consumption for optimum benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids are most commonly found in fish; however, if you’re pregnant you need to be mindful of mercury levels of some fish, so you may want to find a supplemental source to increase your daily intake of omega 3 safely. However, as always, if you’re pregnant, check with your doctor before taking any supplements!