Blueberries a prescription for a healthy heart

Natural Health News – Thinking cover your morning cereal with a cup of blueberries? Do it.

Just one cup of blueberries a day could be the key to reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which are associated with cardiovascular disease, according to researchers at Florida State University (FSU).

“Our findings suggest that regular consumption of blueberries could potentially slow the progression of prehypertension to hypertension, therefore, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease,” said lead researcher Sarah A. Johnson, deputy director of the Center for the Advancement of Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging (CAENRA) and postdoctoral student in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at FSU.

The study is published in Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics .

Over a period of eight weeks, 48 ​​postmenopausal women with pre-and-stage 1 hypertension were randomized to receive 22 g of freeze-dried blueberry powder – the equivalent of a cup of fresh blueberries – 22g of a powder or placebo. Participants, meanwhile, continued their normal diet and exercise routine.

At baseline, the team took blood pressure of women and measured their arterial stiffness and blood biomarkers select.

healthy arteries

At the end of the eight weeks, participants who received the blueberry powder, on average, 7 mmHg (5.1 percent) decrease systolic blood pressure, which is the highest number in the blood pressure reading measures the pressure in the arteries when the heart beats. They also saw a reduction of 5 mmHg (6.3 percent) diastolic blood pressure, or lower number of measuring the pressure in the arteries between heartbeats.

In addition, participants in the group treated blueberries had an average reduction of 97 cm / second (6.5 percent) in arterial stiffness.

In addition, the researchers found that nitric oxide, a blood biomarker known to be involved in the widening of blood vessels, increased by 68.5 percent. This is important because arterial stiffness and narrowing of the blood vessels are as much a part of hypertension. This increase nitric oxide helps explain the reductions in blood pressure.


Blueberries have been defended by its high potential anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants. They are low in caolires high in fiber, vitamin C and manganese. Previous studies have shown that fruits including high antioxidants, rich in anthocyanins, as blueberries and strawberries is healthy for the heart of the older women .

blueberries have specifically shown to have positive effects on cardiovascular risk factors, including blood pressure, but all of them large amounts of cranberry powder consumption, between 50 and 250 g are included. In the case of 250 grams, which would result in more than 11 cups fresh blueberries, which may not be realistic for people to consume on a regular basis.

These new data suggest that megadoses may not be necessary to produce healthy changes.

“Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death in the United States,” he said. “Once women go through menopause, this puts them at even greater risk for him. Our findings suggest that the addition of a single food, blueberries, diet can mitigate the negative cardiovascular effects that often occur as . result of menopause “

Johnson says he is interested in seeing how functional foods – foods that have a positive impact on health beyond basic nutrition -. You can prevent and reverse the negative health outcomes in other groups as well as in postmenopausal women

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