Strawberry shields

Here’s a tip for all you women out there. Start stocking your fridge with berries. Because a new study shows it could quite literally save your life.

Researchers followed 93,600 women between the ages of 25 and 42 for 18 years. All the subjects were part of the Nurses’ Health Study II, and completed diet surveys every four years.

Results showed that women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries–as in three or more servings a week–enjoyed a 32 percent lower risk of heart attack. And this benefit remained even after researchers adjusted for healthier eating habits overall.

This study appeared in the journal Circulation. And let me say, it’s great to see a solution other than statins making major heart health headlines for a change.

Not that this is “news” to me, of course. Strawberries and blueberries aren’t just delicious. They’re also rich in antioxidant-rich flavonoids–which makes them safe, natural sources of cardiovascular protection.

The best part? Unlike a lot of other fruits, these berries are low in sugar, too. And that means you and your heart can safely indulge every day.

“High anthocyanin intake is associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women.” Circulation. 2013 Jan 15;127(2):188-96.