Harvard Women's Health Watch

Antioxidant-rich diet protects women's hearts

Research finds that putting the right blend of nutrients on your plate can protect against heart disease.

When choosing whether to eat a cookie or orange, or deciding between a dinner roll or side of broccoli, factor this into your decision: a study in the October issue of The American Journal of Medicine found that a diet high in fruit, as well as vegetables and whole grains, just might prevent you from having a heart attack.

Heart disease and the artery damage that causes it are linked to increases in dangerous molecules called reactive oxygen species, which can occur from the aging process. These molecules can damage cells, contributing to conditions ranging from cancer to heart disease. Antioxidants go after these molecules and destroy them, which may be why studies have linked an antioxidant-rich diet to lower rates of heart disease.

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