Heart attack: The popular fruit that could slash your risk by up to a third

Heart attack: Experts claim a vegan diet can 'help prevent' them

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According to the British Heart Foundation, there are around 7.6 million people in the UK living with a heart and circulatory disease, the leading cause of heart attacks. Growing rates can be attributed to ageing populations and improved survival rates, according to the charity. One food, however, has shown to significantly improve cardiovascular health, slashing the risk of heart attacks by up to a third.

Strawberries and blueberries are rich in beneficial plant compounds known as anthocyanin, which gives berries their vibrant red, blue, and purple hues.

Several studies, notably the landmark Nurses’ Health study, have linked these compounds with better health.

Researchers found that women who ate more than three servings of blueberries or strawberries per week, had a 34 percent lower risk of heart attack compared with those who ate fewer.

Furthermore, anthocyanin appears to make blood vessels more elastic and help blood pressure, one of the risk factors for heart attack.

Blood pressure:

Berries, especially blueberries, are rich in natural compounds called flavonoids.

Researchers at Queen’s University Belfast in Northern Ireland, United Kingdom, recently led a study that found that individuals who consumed the most flavonoid-rich foods tended to have lower blood pressure.

The study found that consuming such compounds might prevent and help lower blood pressure.

Researchers suggested that the gut may be partly responsible for the beneficial effects of flavonoids on blood pressure.

The NHS says: “Eating a low-fat diet that includes a lot of fibre such as wholegrain, rice, bread, pasta and plenty of fruit and vegetables has been proven to help lower blood pressure.

“Fruits and vegetables also contain vitamins and minerals and help keep your body healthy.”

The early signs:

An acute incident will often occur without any early warning signs.

However, some signs may indicate that a heart attack is imminent. These include:

Chest discomfort: Most heart attacks will cause discomfort in the centre of the chest that can last more than a few minutes.

Discomfort in other areas of the upper body: This pain will usually occur in one or both arms, the back, net, jaw or stomach.

Shortness of breath: Most people who suffer a heart attack will experience shortness of breath

Other signs: Other possible signs can include nausea, light-headedness and breaking out into a cold sweat.

Risk factors

The NHS explains: “Before a heart attack, one of the plaques ruptures, causing a blood clot to form at the site of the rupture.

“The clot may block the supply of blood to the heart, triggering a heart attack.

“Coronary heart disease, the leading cause of heart attacks, is a condition in which the coronary arteries become clogged with deposits of cholesterol.”

According to the health body, certain lifestyle habits can increase the risk of a heart attack, including:

  • Smoking
  • High-fat diets
  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol.

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