There’s an old saying that states, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” As it turns out, berries may be the new apple. According to a new study, the anthocyanins present in red and blue fruits—namely strawberries and blueberries—may help ward off heart attacks in women.

First off, if you aren’t aware of what anthocyanins are, you are not alone. These are flavonoids that appear in blue and red fruits, and apparently, if you are a woman and you consume a lot of these types of berries, in extension, the anthocyanins in the berries will help to cut down the risk of heart attacks. The study, which was published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, found that women who consumed blueberries and strawberries at least three times a week were at a 32% decrease in risk for myocardial infarction (heart attacks)—even among women who consumed other fruits regularly.

According to the American Heart Association, the Harvard School of Public Health alongside the U.K.’s University of East Anglia put together a famous study of a group of nurses over a period of 18 years, monitoring their health and looking at basic trends. That study, called the “Nurses Health Study II” led to research into the blueberries and strawberries and to the numbers found in the above paragraph. While the sample size is by no means perfect, it does point to overall trends in women’s health.

Additionally, researchers are noting that while blueberries and strawberries were looked at in the study, other berries producing anthocyanins might have the same effects on female populations, which is all berry good.

Photo [email protected]/ Krystyna Kaczmarek

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