Blueberries `can ward off heart disease`

London: Want to ward off heart disease? Eat blueberries daily, recommends a new study.

Blueberries are already known for helping to guard against cancer and Alzheimer`s disease. Now, researchers, led by the US Department of Agriculture, claim that the fruit can also help prevent a cardiac arrest or stroke.

They have found that blueberries fight hardening of the arteries, which often causes a cardiac arrest or stroke.

The researchers have based their findings on an analysis of an experiment on mice who were fed blueberries. The study found a big reduction in blocked arteries of the laboratory animals, the `Daily Express` reported.

According to them, this is the first direct evidence that they could beat heart disease that`s said to be the biggest killer in the western world.

The researchers, based in Arkansas, now want to discover whether giving youngsters a diet of blueberries while growing up would help protect against artery hardening in later life.

Lead researcher Xianli Wu said: "Prevention may be specially important in light of the epidemic of childhood obesity, which increases the risk of artery hardening.