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The Boston Globe

Health & wellness

Which fruits best lower young women’s risk of heart disease?

Nutrition researchers have known for some time that certain foods rich in nutrients called flavonoids -- including tea, red and white wine, and a wide variety of fruits and vegetables -- might have heart-protective effects, helping to ward off hypertension. Pinpointing the particular foods that might be most beneficial, however, has proven to be a challenge.

A new Harvard School of Public Health study published in the journal Circulation indicates that eating at least three servings a week of red, purple, or blue fruits (grapes, apples, and an assortment of berries) that are rich in the flavonoid anthocyanin is associated with a 32 percent decreased heart attack risk in younger women ages 24 to 42 who reported their intake on dietary surveys and were then followed for nearly 20 years.

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