Eating your fruits and vegetables has always been advocated by independent health groups, government health groups, and mothers. These groups have been further backed by a recent study that showed that higher polyphenols intake linked to better heart health by reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack in men.
Polyphenols is the term used for plant-based molecules that contain antioxidants. Antioxidants are known for fighting free radicals, boosting the immune system, and acting as an anti-inflammatory.
Polyphenols are found in berries, olive oil, and many raw vegetables. These types of foods are common in the Mediterranean diet as well as being used in herbal medicines for centuries.
A recently published study by scientists at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the University of East Anglia in the U.K. stated that having higher polyphenols intake linked to better heart health.
The study took data from 43,880 men who were volunteers in the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study. The researchers followed up with these men for 24 years and recorded 1,572 strokes and 4,046 heart attacks.
The scientists found that there was a correlation between intaking anthocyanin, a type of polyphenol, and reduction of non-fatal heart attacks, especially in men who had normal blood pressure.
Additionally, they found that higher intakes of flavanones, another type of polyphenol, helps to lower the risk of ischemic stroke greatly. However, it did not show to affect heart attack risk.
Overall, the researchers found that over the 24 years of follow-up, there was a 14% decreased risk of heart attack in men who had the highest average consumption of anthocyanins.
Additionally, the men who had the highest average consumption of flavanones experienced a 22% reduced risk of ischemic stroke.
These findings prove that polyphenols found in fruits and vegetables are heart healthy for those who consume them often.
If you don’t already eat regular amounts of fruits, like berries, or vegetables, be sure to add them to your diet. They are not only filling, but they promote a healthier heart.