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Antioxidants Lower Risk of Heart Attacks in Women, New Study Shows

Lisa Garber
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September 26th, 2012
Updated 11/01/2012 at 3:35 am
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grapesbunch 235x147 Antioxidants Lower Risk of Heart Attacks in Women, New Study Shows

A Swedish study to be published in The American Journal of Medicine found that women whose diets were high in antioxidant rich foods like fruits and vegetables had a 20 percent lower risk of myocardian infarction, or heart attack. Though this lowered risk of heart attacks in women was just one of the many benefits the healthful foods had.

Heart Attacks in Women and Total Antioxidant Capacity

“Our study was the first to look at the effect of all dietary antioxidants in relation to myocardial infarction,” says Alicja Wolk of the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm. “Total antioxidant capacity measures in a single value all antioxidants present in diet and the synergistic effects between then.”

Wolk and her team of researchers followed 32,561 Swedish women between ages 49 and 83 over a 10-year period. Using subjects’ answers to food-frequency questionnaires related to their diets, researchers calculated total antioxidant capacity from an American database that measures oxygen radical absorption capacity (ORAC), since no system exists for Swedish foods. Women who consumed the most fruits and vegetables daily (about 7 servings, 3 times more than women with the least antioxidant capacity) had a significantly lower risk of developing heart problems.

Whole Foods Rather than Just Supplements

They also found that whole foods rather than antioxidant supplements lowers coronary heart disease risk in trials. “In contrast to supplements of single antioxidants, the dietary total antioxidant capacity reflects all present antioxidants, including thousands of compounds, all of them in doses present in our usual diet, and even takes into account their synergistic effects.”

As outlined in our article showing some of the most antioxidant rich foods, here are 5 foods you won’t want to forget:

  • Spices
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Berries
  • Nuts

Eating a wholesome, antioxidant-rich diet is becoming increasingly difficult in America, where fast and processed foods exist in abundance and are even fiscally tied to the government (exemplified by the FDA giving Monsanto free rein). This is ironic, given that America is also the dieting capital of the world.

“Although weight-loss diets abound in the US, the few which emphasize increasing intake of fruits and vegetables actually may be on the right track,” says Pamela Powers Hannley, Managing Editor of The American Journal of Medicine. “Yet only 14 percent of American adults and 9.5 percent of adolescents eat five or more servings of fruits or vegetables a day.”

And what researchers have been finding as long as research has been conducted is that the antioxidants go much further than preventing heart attacks in women. They fight free radicals, slowing the aging process, protect against cancer even on a genetic level, and help protect you from virtually all illness and disease.

In addition to consuming more antioxidants to protect your body from a heart attack, spices like turmeric have been shown to help stave off heart attacks as well.

Additional Sources:

Medical News Today

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  • Betty Nasser

    I have to make up my mind to make a change in my life. I need to think about this for about a week before I can make a commitment like this. I am keeping the link and will read and listen to this again before I can join.

    Thank you I enjoyed the information most I had learned in diebitic classes.

    • Betty Nasser

      don't know what you mean.