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You can't buy good health but you can buy good health information. Check out these newly released Special Health Reports from Harvard Medical School:

Blueberries, strawberries protect the heart, from the Harvard Heart Letter

A spoonful of sugar isn't needed to help this medicine go down: eating more blueberries and strawberries may be a tasty way to protect the heart, reports the July 2013 Harvard Heart Letter.

The berry connection was uncovered in a new study led by Dr. Eric Rimm, associate professor at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School. He and his team gathered data from 93,600 women, who, at ages 25 to 42, signed up for the Nurses' Health Study. Over the course of 18 years, they reported how often they ate various kinds of food.

Berries emerged as a protective factor. Women who ate the most blueberries and strawberries were 34% less likely to have suffered a heart attack during the study period than women who ate the least of these fruits.

How much berries are needed? "The people with heart benefits had three or more servings of half a cup of blueberries or strawberries each week," Rimm says.

The study focused on young and middle-aged women. But the findings likely apply to everyone, including men.

"The sooner people start the type of diet that includes a higher intake of blueberries and strawberries, the better," Dr. Rimm says.

Read the full-length article: "Eat blueberries and strawberries three times per week"

Also in this issue of the Harvard Heart Letter

  • Balancing bleeding vs. stroke risk when you have atrial fibrillation
  • Ask the doctors: Is one heart test enough?
  • Ask the doctors: Can surgery cause a heart attack?
  • Eat blueberries and strawberries three times per week
  • Bypass or angioplasty with stenting: How do you choose?
  • Sleep problems may increase the risk of heart attack and stroke
  • Best medicine: The science of exercise shows benefits beyond weight loss
  • More evidence red meat may be bad for your heart
  • Harvard Heart Advances: Old hearts made young by natural substance
  • Harvard Heart Advances: Had problems with statins? Try them again.

More Harvard Health News »


About Harvard Health Publications

Harvard Health Publications publishes four monthly newsletters--Harvard Health Letter, Harvard Women's Health Watch, Harvard Men's Health Watch, and Harvard Heart Letter--as well as more than 50 special health reports and books drawing on the expertise of the 8,000 faculty physicians at Harvard Medical School and its world-famous affiliated hospitals.