Blueberries— Powerful Medicine for Lowering Your BP
Blueberries are proof that good things come in small packages! In my new Huffington Post article, I tell you how these little fruits fight high blood pressure—and how they can also protect you against everything from wrinkles to diabetes.
Just a few weeks ago, researchers at Florida State University published a new study about the power of blueberries. The study shows that these little berries can have a big effect when it comes to lowering your blood pressure and keeping your arteries elastic.
The new study involved 48 postmenopausal women with “prehypertension” or hypertension. The women ate either 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder (the equivalent of one cup of fresh blueberries) or 22 grams of a placebo powder every day for eight weeks.
At the end of that time, participants receiving the blueberry powder had an average decrease of 5.1 percent in systolic blood pressure and 6.3 percent in diastolic blood pressure. That translated into 7 points in systolic pressure and 5 points in diastolic pressure—a big drop. In addition, women in the blueberry-treated group had an average reduction of 6.5 percent in arterial stiffness.
The researchers also found that levels of nitric oxide, which relaxes and widens blood vessels, increased by 68.5 percent in the women in the blueberry-treated group. The researchers say this change in nitric oxide levels may explain the reductions in blood pressure.
Those are major changes in just eight weeks. So don’t underestimate these berries just because they’re small and cute. Inside those little balls of sweetness is some serious BP-lowering power.
And really, wouldn’t you rather indulge in a bowl of blueberries and cream for breakfast—or maybe stir a sweet handful of dried blueberries into your yogurt at lunch—than pop a pill? If you’ve ever taken blood pressure meds, you know they cause debilitating side effects like dizziness, dry mouth, cough, irregular heartbeat, and constipation. The only side effect from blueberries, conversely, is that little fritz of joy each time you bite into them.
So if you want to keep your blood pressure levels healthy and low, add blueberries to your daily diet and see what they can do for you. If you’re not a fan of these fruits, consider buying capsules of powdered blueberries.
And by the way, the blood pressure-lowering effect of blueberries isn’t the only reason to love them. Here are more:
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