Colorful fruits and vegetables are abundant in antioxidants, compounds that protect our tissues from deterioration and may help slow the aging process. A recent study from Sweden has found that eating these foods can strengthen the heart and reduce heart failure.
Susanne Rautiainen from Harvard Medical School, and colleagues, analyzed data collected from 33,713 women enrolled in a Swedish study, ages 49 to 83 years. The participants had been surveyed for their dietary intakes. Over the 11 years of follow-up, 884 cases of heart failure occurred. The good news is that the researchers found those women with the highest average antioxidant intakes were 42% less likely to develop heart failure, as compared to women with the lowest intake.
The researchers said: “We observed a lower risk of heart failure where the average intake of fruits and vegetables was 4.4 servings per day. Thus, these results suggest that following the nutritional recommendations of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables issued by the Food and Drug Administration in the United States and also the National Food Agency in Sweden, may be beneficial in heart failure prevention.”
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