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A new study featured in the January issue of Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association examines whether eating fruits that contain anthocyanin can lower a woman's risk of having a heart attack. Heart disease runs rampant throughout our country in both women and men, but a heart attack can often be more deadly for women.

Anthocyanin is a flavonoid, or a compound found in plants, fruits and berries that help to give it color. These anthocyanins have also been linked to lowering the risk of heart attacks. The researchers of the study looked at over 93,000 participants for four years, starting in 1989, on dietary intake. What they found was that those eating a regular diet featuring anthocyanin did lower their chances of suffering a heart attack. The top fifth in the study had a 32 percent lower risk of a heart attack than those in the bottom fifth, and more importantly, those in the top tenth had a 47 percent lower risk than those in the bottom tenth. In addition, even consuming it three or four times a week can lower overall risk by 34 percent.

The authors of the study concluded, 'Our findings suggest that bioactive compounds present in red and blue fruits and vegetables commonly consumed in the habitual diet may be associated with a reduced risk of myocardial infarction in young and middle-aged women.'

My advice is that it is always good to incorporate fruits and vegetables in your daily diet. And, as the study suggests, make sure you get a variety of colored fruit and vegetables. Each may bring a different set of health benefits and together may add up to significant health protection now and in the future. My top five fruits with anthocyanin are:

  • Blueberries
  • Strawberries
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Plums

For more helpful, health information and for more information on my book and DVD, visit

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