Fruits and vegetables get their hues from the types of antioxidants they carry. These compounds naturally fight different diseases. One that lowers your risk of heart disease is called anthocyanin. And that’s not all it does.
This compound also helps lower blood pressure, reduce cholesterol and triglycerides…and more. You’ll find high levels of it in certain kinds of fruit that are in the same color family.
In just one month, subjects who ate this fruit every day lowered their LDL cholesterol by 14 percent. They also lowered their total triglyceride levels by over 20 percent.
A bonus side effect was they raised the amount of natural vitamin C—another heart-protective antioxidant—in their blood by 41 percent.1
More important, the anthocyanin can help prevent heart attacks directly. One study followed nearly 100,000 women over 18 years. Eating at least three servings of anthocyanin-rich foods—including this fruit—each day lowered heart attack risk in women by 34 percent.2
|Strawberries are more than a healthful snack. The ancient Romans used them to treat fainting, fever, infections, bad breath, and even blood diseases.5|
When it comes to protecting your heart, think “red” and eat more of the fruits with anthocyanin and vitamin C…
Strawberries should be part of your diet anyway. They’re high in anthocyanin. But they’re low in sugar.
They also have a lot of fiber. Researchers at the University of Leeds reviewed over 20 studies on heart disease and fiber intake. They found that you can lower your heart disease risk by nine percent for every seven grams of fiber you eat in a day.3 But instead of relying on grains for your fiber needs, stick with strawberries. This fruit won’t lead to harmful inflammation that puts your heart in danger.
The subjects in the study ate a lot of strawberries—almost 25 medium-sized ones a day. You don’t have to eat that much. Simply increasing your intake will fight free radicals and reduce inflammation. Aside from keeping blood pressure low, they prevent the oxidative stress that makes your heart age beyond its years.
Always eat the freshest organic strawberries you can find. Like other delicate foods, strawberries are vulnerable to dangerous pesticides.4 Avoid preserves and any processed forms, like what you see in yogurts. They’re usually loaded with extra sugar and will do more harm than good.
If you want to supplement, you can also find anthocyanin in some natural antioxidant supplements, for even more protection for your heart.
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