Evidences of the cardioprotective potential of fruits: the case of cranberries.
Eating a healthy balanced diet, is one of the most important and relevant ways to delay and prevent various health complications including cardiovascular disease (CVD). Among the nutritional factors that have been investigated in recent years, dietary fat intake may be the one that has been most targeted. However, there is also clear epidemiological evidence that increased fruits and vegetables intake can significantly reduce the risk of CVD, an effect that has been suggested to be resulting to a significant extent, from the high polyphenol content of these foods. Numerous polyphenolic compounds such as flavonoids have been identified as having strong antioxidant properties. Most interesting is the fact that, in addition to being one of the largest groups of antioxidant phytochemicals, flavonoids are also an integral part of the human diet as they are found in most fruits and vegetables. Cranberries are one of the most important sources of flavonoids that have a strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory capacities. Thus, consumption of cranberries or their related products could be of importance not only in the maintenance of health but also in preventing CVD. The following review will present evidences supported for the most part by clinical observations that cranberries can exert potentially healthy effects for your heart.