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Berry healthy: the tiny superfoods that hold the key to a healthy heart

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Blueberries are little superfoods packed with more antioxidants than many other fruits and vegetables such as oranges, rocket and spinach. And eating three or more servings per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by one-third – according to new research released this week. The findings come from a study of 93,000 women over 18 years that suggests that eating the superfood every other day will make a difference to health in later life. It also showed that women who ate the most berries were 32% less likely to have a heart attack.

blueberry recipes

Experts believe the benefits come from the high level of antioxidants called anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid. These can be found in the skin, which appear to prevent arteries from blocking and have other cardiovascular advantages. Five reasons to include blueberries in your daily diet: • They're packed with more antioxidants than many other fruits and vegetables such as oranges, rocket and spinach• They give you a an energy boost throughout the day – without the dip that follows after drinking coffee. Just two handfuls of blueberries contain a whopping 14% of an adult’s daily requirement for manganese, an element that’s essential for releasing energy• Blueberries are a juicy, tasty way to keep hydrated and maintain fresh, young-looking skin. Hydration is essential to our health as every cell, tissue and organ needs water to work at its optimum. The vitamin C in blueberries also helps keep our skin healthy by producing collagen. Just one portion provides almost 25% of an adult’s RDA • Naturally low in fat, saturates and salt, Chilean blueberries are also really adaptable. Add them to anything from muesli and smoothies to cereals, salads and desserts – or simply eaten straight from the punnet • They're delicious!

Up your berry intake with one of these super healthy recipes

Light berry salad

Caramel poached blueberries with crème fraiche

Blueberry Bircher muesli

Vitamin C smoothie

Bran and blueberry muffins

Research was carried out by the University of East Anglia in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health.

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