Blueberries Can Improve Cardiovascular Health, Says New Research

From bilberries to blueberries, all types of berries come with a strong nutritional profile that can decrease the risk of and improve the symptoms of many chronic conditions. Previous studies have found that berries are great for health. They are not high in calories but in fiber and vitamins.

Moreover, they also contain antioxidants. The consumption of berries can lower blood pressure as well as cholesterol along with decreasing oxidative stress. Now a new study says that even people who are already at risk of cardiovascular disease can improve their chances of living healthily by consuming one cup of blueberries every day.

What Did This Study Reveal?

A new study has found that eating blueberries, or any berries basically, can improve cardiovascular health. People who are at risk of heart problems must consider adding berries to their diet. This research has been led by scientists from the University of East Anglia in collaboration with researchers from across UK including the Harvard University.

The findings have been published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. As per this report, 150g of blueberries can take cardiovascular risk down by 15%. The team of researchers from UAE’s Department of Nutrition and Preventive Medicine, Norwich Medical School pointed out that berries should be included in the diet of people who are at risk of heart disease.

This team wanted to look at the effects of eating blueberries on metabolic syndrome which has risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excessive body fat, low good cholesterol, and high triglycerides. Prod Aedin Cassidy, lead researcher of the study said, “Having Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and often statins and other medications are prescribed to help control this risk. It’s widely recognized that lifestyle changes, including making simple changes to food choices, can also help.”

Past studies have showed that regularly consuming blueberries can decrease risk of developing diabetes and heart problems. This is perhaps because they contain anthocyanins. These scientists wanted to see whether blueberries could benefit people who were already at risk of heart related problems. For the purpose of this research, 138 participants who were obese or overweight and in the age bracket of 50 to 75 were recruited.

These people had metabolic syndrome. The study went on for 6 months and investigators involved analyzed the benefits of consuming 150 grams of blueberries vs. 75 grams. The placebo group was served other purple colored alternatives that comprised of artificial flavors and colors. It was found that eating one cup, as in 150 grams, of blueberries improved vascular function and arterial stiffness. It reduced cardiovascular risk from 12% to 15%.

However, no benefits were experienced from consuming 75 grams of blueberries. Therefore, for improved cardiovascular health, patients at risk must consume at least one cup of blueberries per day for reducing risks and living a comparably healthier lifestyle.