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HindustanTimes Mon,01 Sep 2014

Delicious way to reduce heart risk

AFP   January 25, 2013
First Published: 17:43 IST(25/1/2013) | Last Updated: 19:40 IST(25/1/2013)

According to a new study published in Circulation, one delicious way women can reduce their risk of a heart attack is by eating blueberries and strawberries.During this study, young and middle-aged women who ate three or more servings of these fruits per week were found to reduce their risk of heart attack by one-third.

These berries contain high levels of naturally occurring compounds called dietary flavonoids, also found in grapes and wine, blackberries, eggplant, and other fruits and vegetables. According to the study, a specific sub-class of flavonoids, called anthocyanins, may help dilate arteries, counter the buildup of plaque and provide other cardiovascular benefits. "Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into what women eat every week," says Eric Rimm, senior author and professor at Harvard School of Public Health in Boston.

Harvard researchers joined scientists from the UK's University of East Anglia to conduct this study among 93,600 women in the age group of 25 to 42. A separate study also found that women who eat plenty of  these berries experience slower mental decline with age than women who consume fewer of the flavonoid-rich fruits.

How to Toss a quick berry salad at home

Ingredients
2 cups spinach
1/4 cup crumbled cheese
1/2 cup ripe strawberries
1/2 cup chopped blueberries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
3 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp mustard paste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Blend balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, salt, pepper and mustard paste together. Gradually add the olive oil and mix the dressing. Taste the dressing to keep track of whether it needs to be seasoned further or not. Keep aside. In a shallow bottomed bowl, add the fresh baby spinach and a few tablespoons of the dressing. Toss well. Now take it out in a plate. Top the spinach with the strawberries, blueberries and cheese. Sprinkle some more dressing if needed. The berry salad is now ready to be served.

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