Study Shows Antioxidants Lower Woman's Risk of Heart Attack

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The list of benefits of eating a diet rich in antioxidants seems to grow every day, with the latest being a decrease in a woman’s risk of heart attack. A study, published in the American Journal of Medicine, found that women who eat antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables reduced their risk of heart attack by up to 20 percent.

This decade-long study, conducted in Sweden, was based on over 32,000 women between the ages of 49 and 83. Based on extensive diet questionnaires, the study quantified the amount of antioxidants each woman ingested, and then compared that information to the rate of heart attacks. The results? Those who consumed 7 servings of fruits and vegetables every day had a 20 percent decrease heart attack compared to those eating less or no fruits and vegetables.

This study also came to another rather remarkable conclusion (at least in the medical world): whole foods, and the antioxidants from those foods, showed the most promise and the best results, as opposed to antioxidant supplements. Outside of fruits and vegetables, other quality sources of heart-healthy antioxidants include coffee, chocolate, spices (especially turmeric) and nuts.

Sadly, it is estimated that less than 15% of Americans eat five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day, which many researchers attribute at least, in part, to the US Government’s heavy subsidizing of the fast and processed foods industry. In other words, 85% of the country could make one simple dietary change to drastically improve their chance at a long and healthy life.

Another study of interest, particularly for woman, is the role heart healthy chocolate plays in lowering blood pressure. On top of antioxidants, there are other simple habits you can implement for a healthy heart such as drinking plenty of water, strenuous activity or simply walking, or getting a pet.

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