1. Blueberries may help to reduce blood pressure
A study has revealed that daily consumption of 200g of blueberries for a month can lead to systolic blood pressure reduction and blood vessel function improvement in healthy individuals.
Researchers examined 40 healthy individuals for one month who randomly consumed either 200g of blueberries in a beverage or a matched control beverage every day.
Chemicals were monitored in the blood and urine of the individuals as well as blood pressure and flow-mediated brachial artery dilation: an artery widening measurement for when there is an increase in blood flow and is considered a biomarker of cardiovascular disease risk.
The effects of a blueberry beverage were also compared with the effects of purified anthocyanins, a kind of phytochemical that gives some vegetables and fruits such as berries their color. This was also compared with control beverages containing comparable levels of either fiber, or vitamins, or minerals found in blueberries.
It was revealed that:
- Blood vessel function effects were seen 2 hours following drinking of the blueberry beverages and were sustained for 1 month even following an overnight fast.
- There was a reduction in blood pressure of 5mmHg for the month. This is comparable to what is normally seen in studies making use of medications that reduce blood pressure.
- The purified anthocyanins drinks resulted in endothelial function improvements. Endothelial cells serve as a barrier between the lymph or blood and the surrounding body tissue and also play an important role in the regulation of blood pressure and the clotting of blood.
- Neither the control beverage, nor the control with fiber, nor the control with vitamins and minerals had a significant impact on flow-mediated dilation at 2 and 6 hours following consumption.
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