Heart Healthy Berries for Valentine’s Day
A bed of red flowers.

Heart Healthy Berries for Valentine’s Day

pathmedical Wellness

First and foremost, happy valentines day! By mid-February, it’s quite possible that some of your new year’s resolutions have fizzled out – most likely the ones about a new fit lifestyle, diet, etc. While that may be a sour thought, a sweet thought is that it’s never too late to implement a new habit that can help your cardiovascular health. If you are looking to increase your antioxidant and polyphenols intake, a strong recommendation is to increase the number of berries you consume. 

Benefits of berries:

  • Blackberries
    • high in fiber and vitamin C
    • contains polyphenols, iron, calcium, and vitamin C
  •  Blueberries
    • high in fiber and vitamin C
    • low in fat
    • aids blood flow
    • decreases the risk of heart attack
  •  Strawberries
    • helps widen arteries
    • lessons buildup of plaque
  •  Raspberries
    • high in polyphenols
    • low in fat
    • decreases the risk of heart disease
  • Acai berries
    • high in fiber
  •  Cranberries
    • increase HDL cholesterol

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition conducted and published an eight-week study consisting of 70+ individuals, all near middle age. This group of people altered their daily diets by adding almost a cup of mixed berries per day. The results found an increase in HDL cholesterol, which is considered the ‘good’ cholesterol, and a drop in blood pressure. Both of these results being heart healthy. Foods that are high in antioxidants, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, help protect your body against both heart and blood vessels disease. Additionally, polyphenols are special chemical compounds that double as antioxidants in the sense they decrease risks associated with heart disease.

Ways to utilize berries nutrients:

  • Yogurt topping
  • Blended in a smoothie
  • Baked into a pie
  • Spread in a jam
  • Juiced
  • Freeze-dried