Strawberries and blueberries could help cut heart attack risk in women, researchers say.

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Berries may help cut heart problems
Berries may help cut heart problems

Strawberries and blueberries could help cut heart attack risk in women, researchers say.

Eating three or more servings of the berries a week may help reduce the risk of cardiac arrest by up to one-third, according to a report in the American Heart Association journal, Circulation.

Blueberries and strawberries are rich in flavonoids, which are naturally occurring compounds also found in other fruits and vegetables including grapes, blackberries and eggplant.

A specific sub-class of flavonoids called anthocyanins may help dilate arteries and counter plaque build-up, according to the study.

The researchers said it was possible other foods could provide the same benefits shown in the study of strawberries and blueberries, the most commonly consumed berries in the United States.

More than 90,000 women across the US and UK were surveyed about their diet every four years for 18 years as part of the study.

Women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries had a 32 per cent reduction in their risk of heart attack compared to women who ate the berries once a month or less, even in women who otherwise ate a diet rich in other fruits and vegetables.