The natural ’super-smoothie’ that cuts cardiac risk

May 5th, 2011 - 5:52 pm ICT by IANS  

London, May 5 (IANS) Scientists have concocted a cocktail of seven fruit juices, including grapes and the not-so-familiar lingonberry, that boosts health, that cuts the risk of heart disease and stroke and also tastes good.

The ’super-smoothie’ contains grapes, apples, blueberries and strawberries. However, there are exotic additions. These include so-called superfoods cowberry (aka lingonberry), a tart red fruit related to the cranberry, and acerola, a red cherry-like fruit that has 30 times more vitamin C than orange juice.

The final ingredient of the smoothie is aronia, or chokeberry, an American blackberry once described as the “healthiest berry in the world”, the journal Food and Function reports.

Past studies have shown that compounds in fruit called polyphenols protect the heart and help prevent clogged arteries, according to the Daily Mail.

French scientists say their smoothie contains the healthiest and best tasting combination of fruit juices. Blends of 13 different purees and juices were analysed in a lab for their effects on pig arteries. But the finished recipe was selected after tests by 80 volunteers.

In tests, heart artery walls relaxed when they were exposed to the fruit juice cocktail. The researchers, from the University of Strasbourg, France, say that in a human, this would boost the flow of blood to the heart and ensure it got a healthy balance of nutrients and oxygen.

The team also measured the antioxidant ability of different recipes to neutralise harmful molecules in the body that can damage DNA and cells.

The study found that some polyphenols were more potent than others - and that their ability to mop up harmful ‘free radicals’ that can damage DNA and cells was more important than the amount of polyphenols in each fruit.

Said Tracy Parker of the British Heart Foundation: “This research adds more weight to evidence that eating fruit and vegetables is good for us in terms of reducing our risk for heart disease.”

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