Blueberries for Blood Pressure
Daily consumption of blueberries can lower blood pressure and improve blood flow. That was the uplifting conclusion of a clinical trial that unfolded as follows: Scientists had 40 healthy study subjects ingest 200 grams of blueberries daily for one month. The scientists monitored various chemicals in the study subjects’ blood and urine, along with their blood pressure and brachial artery blood flow, considered a sensitive marker of cardiovascular risk.
The results? Beneficial effects on blood flow were noted in as little as two hours after consuming the blueberries and were sustained throughout the month-long study. Systolic blood pressure in the blueberry-eating subjects dropped by five points. (That is on par blood pressure medications!) What’s more—the scientists completed further studies and concluded that the active ingredient in the blueberries largely responsible for their findings were their blue pigments called anthocyanins. These remarkable compounds are renowned for their powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory power, so this is not surprising.
To offer perspective on the magnitude of this study’s findings, the lead researcher commented that the equivalent daily consumption of blueberries over the course a person’s life could reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 20 percent. (2)
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