By John Phillip(NaturalNews) Thousands of research studies over the past decade have heralded the critical importance of eating a diet filled with flavonoids from a variety of brightly colored vegetables and fruits to help prevent and even treat many chronic illnesses. Most plants and fruits rely on flavonoid compounds for protection against the environment and to propagate and flourish. These same properties support human health by altering genetic expression and specifically targeting essential metabolic processes to ward off diseases such as cancer, dementia and the most prevalent killer of men and women, cardiovascular disease.Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health developed a study to analyze a specific sub-class of flavonoids, called anthocyanins, that has been shown to help dilate arteries, counter the buildup of plaque and provide other cardiovascular benefits. Publishing in the journal Circulation, the scientists found that women who ate at least three servings of blueberries and strawberries per week had significantly fewer heart attacks. Blueberries and strawberries contain high levels of anthocyanins that have shown cardiovascular benefits in past research studies.