Kick off American Heart Month with Georgia Blueberries
Georgia Blueberries are delicious and nutritious - full of vitamins, fiber and disease-fighting antioxidants. Now, there is further evidence that enjoying blueberries is good for your heart. A new study in Circulation: Journal of the American Heart Association suggests eating three or more servings of blueberries each week may help women reduce their risk of having a heart attack.
According to the study, conducted by scientists at Harvard School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia (United Kingdom), blueberries contain high levels of dietary flavonoids. A sub-class of these flavonoids, called anthocyanins, may counter plaque buildup, which leads to heart attacks.
Women in the study who ate the most blueberries (and strawberries) had a 32 percent reduction in heart attacks compared to women who only ate berries once a month or less - even if the women’s diet was full of other fruits and vegetables.
The findings were independent of other risk factors including age, weight, blood pressure and family history of heart attacks.
“We’ve known about the health benefits of Georgia Blueberries for quite some time,” said Joe Cornelius, chairman of the Georgia Blueberry Commission. “As we begin American Heart Month and focus on ways to prevent heart disease, this study is further evidence that including Georgia Blueberries is an easy way to make a diet more heart-healthy.”
Georgia is one of the largest blueberry-producing states in the US, with an annual production of nearly 60 million pounds. At their peak of freshness between mid-April through the end of July, Sweet Georgia Blues can be frozen for year-round enjoyment.