Juice cocktail 'good for heart'

Cranberries Cranberry juice is in the blend

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A blend of fruit juices, including grape, cranberry and blackcurrant, may have benefits for the heart, research suggests.

French scientists tested the blend on pig arteries in the lab, and found it caused artery walls to relax.

It remains to be seen whether fruit juices can improve vascular health, they report in a scientific journal.

The study adds weight to evidence fruit and veg reduces heart disease risk, says the British Heart Foundation.

The researchers looked for a chemical called polyphenol in fruit and berries.

They found the most active fruits included blackcurrant, blueberry, aronia (choke berries), cranberry, lingonberry and grape.

Commenting on the study, Tracy Parker, heart health dietitian at the British Heart Foundation, said: "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.

"However, we still don't fully understand why, or whether certain fruits and vegetables are better than others. Even this study acknowledges that scientists can't yet explain any link.

"What we do know is that we should all eat a wide range of fruit and veg as part of a balanced diet, and fruit juice is a tasty and handy way of doing this.

"Don't forget though, juice contains less fibre and more sugar than the original fruit so it only counts as one of our five-a-day."

The research was published in the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Food and Function.

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