Healthy living

Fruit cocktail for a healthy heart

Fruit cocktail for a healthy heart Seven fruits that make a difference

Scientists say they have found the ideal combination of fruit juices to help protect against heart disease.

They say their fruit cocktail of seven juices contains just the right amount and balance of juices to be both healthy and tasty.

Past studies have suggested that polyphenol compounds found in fruits, as well as red wine, can help protect against heart disease by hardening of the arteries.

Scientists from the University of Strasbourg analysed various combinations of 13 different fruit juices or purees for their effect on isolated pigs arteries. The final fruit juice blends were also tested for taste by 80 volunteers.

More than half of the perfect fruit juice blend came from grape juice with the remaining 37 per cent made up of the other fruits.

The perfect blend contained a combination of grape, apple, blueberry and strawberry juices with a dash of some lesser known types from the lingonberry, cerola and aronia.

Lingonberries are tart-tasting red berries which are related to cranberries, while the acerola is a cherry-like fruit, known for its high vitamin C content. Aronia, also called the chokeberry, is rich in antioxidants and been described as a superfood.

The researchers also said the potential health benefits of the fruit juice blend was more dependent on the type of polyphenols contained in each fruit rather than the quantity of polyphenols.

Dr Cyril Auger, who led the study, said: "Among the various fruits investigated, the most active ones were predominantly berries including cranberry, lingonberry, aronia, blackcurrant and blueberry. These berries are characterised by the presence of high levels of anthocyanins, which are pigments responsible for the blue-red colours of fruits.

"The fact that several berries including raspberry, blackberry, boysenberry and elderberry had little biological activity despite having a high level of polyphenols indicates that the qualitative composition of the polyphenolic content is important for the biological activity."

The fruit cocktail for a healthy heart

Grape (63%) Apple (10%) Strawberry (10%) Blueberry (10%) Lingonberry (5%) Acerola (4%) Aronia (4%)

The study is published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Food and Function.

This article was published on Thu 5 May 2011



Image © Elenathewise - Fotolia.com


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