Strawberries and blueberries could be the answer to your health

Strawberries and blueberries could be the answer to your health

Eating three or more servings of blueberries and strawberries per week may help women reduce their risk of a heart attack by one-third – according to new research from the University of East Anglia in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health.

The findings come from a study of 93,000 women over 18 years that suggests that eating berries every other day will make a difference to health in later life.  Women who ate the most berries were 32% less likely to have a heart attack.

Experts believe the benefits come from the high level of antioxidants called anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid.  These can be found in their skin, which appear to prevent arteries from blocking and have other cardiovascular advantages.

Blueberries and strawberries can easily be incorporated into women’s diets, by adding them to smoothies, salads and muesli. 

Here we have some delicious recipes for you to try out and help reduce your risk of heart attacks. 

Light berry salad 

Light, tangy and a great alternative to the more usual mayo dressed chicken salads.

Serves 4-5

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

4 chicken breasts about 150-175 g (5-6 oz) each

1 tablespoon runny honey

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1 teaspoon multicoloured or black peppercorns, coarsely crushed

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar

4 tablespoons olive oil

Little salt

150 g (5 oz) raspberries

2 x 120g bags mixed salad leaves with red chard and beetroot strips

3 tablespoons fresh chopped chives or parsley to decorate, optional

1          Preheat the oven to 200oC/fan 180oC/Gas Mark 6. Line a roasting tin with foil and add the chicken breasts in a single layer then fold the edges of the foil up around the chicken to make a dish. Mix together the honey, mustard and peppercorns with 1 tablespoon of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of oil and a little salt then spread over the chicken, turning to coat both sides thinly.

2          Roast for about 25 minutes until golden brown and the juices run clear when chicken is pierced with a knife in the centre.

3          Crush half the raspberries with a fork then mix with the remaining vinegar and a little salt and pepper then whisk in the remaining oil. Sieve to discard the raspberry seeds. Add the salad leaves to a serving bowl, toss with the dressing then sprinkle with the remaining raspberries.

4          Cut the hot chicken into thin slices, toss through the salad, drizzle with the juices from the foil then sprinkle with the chopped herbs if using and serve immediately. 

Vitamin C smoothie

Serves 3

200g or 2 large handfuls of fresh blackberries or a mix of blackberries and blueberries
600 ml or a 1pt beer glass of sweetened soya milk
A pinch of ground cinnamon
A tsps of runny honey

Blitz all the ingredients together in a liquidiser or food processor until smooth and frothy. Serves three

Ruby fruit refresher

Serves 4

Preparation time: 15 minutes

225 g (8 oz) strawberries

175 g (6 oz) raspberries

225 g (8 oz) blueberries

Grated rind and juice of 1 lime

4 teaspoons runny honey

250 g (9 oz) natural yogurt

Small bunch of fresh mint

1      Slice or quarter the strawberries depending on their size then put them into a serving bowl with the other berries. Add the lime rind and juice and 2 teaspoons of the honey then gently mix together with a spoon.

2      Put the yogurt into a smaller bowl then stir in the rest of the honey. Snip some of the mint into pieces with scissors to give about 3 tablespoons, add to the yogurt and mix together. 

3      Sprinkle the berries with a few tiny mint leaves and serve topped with spoonfuls of the minted yogurt.


For a refreshing smoothie, put the berries into a liquidiser goblet with the yogurt, honey and mint, blitz until smooth then adjust the consistency with apple juice to taste. 

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