Blueberries are rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, and vitamin C. They are also low in fats and free of saturated fat. Also present in this bluish, purple berry are high levels of compounds that can help widen arteries in order to let the blood flow smoothly.
Anya Guy, a Mayo Clinic dietitian commented that:
“Blueberries offer a wealth of health benefits, including protection for your heart. Thanks to something called “anthocyanin” — a compound in these berries that gives them their deep blue hue.”
According to studies, blueberries have about 25 different anthocyanins; whereas, other berries might just have two or three. Eating foods rich in anthocyanins have been linked to a decreased risk of coronary heart disease
In a study published American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers from the University of East Anglia and colleagues from Harvard and across the UK have found that eating 150g of blueberries daily reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15%.
For the six-month study, 138 overweight and obese people, aged between 50 and 75, with Metabolic Syndrome were involved.
The lead researcher Prof Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, says:
“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.”
The researchers aim to know the benefits of eating 150-gram portions of blueberries (one cup) as compared to the 75-gram portions only (half a cup). Freeze-dried form blueberries were consumed by the participants while purple-colored alternatives made of artificial colors and flavorings were given to the placebo group.
At the end of the study period, Co-lead, Dr. Peter Curtis stated:
“We found that eating one cup of blueberries per day resulted in sustained improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness — making enough of a difference to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by between 12 and 15 percent. Meanwhile, we found no benefit of a smaller 75 gram (half cup).”
Researchers have concluded that the consumption of one cup of blueberries daily can help improve cardiovascular health.
So, what are you waiting for? Pop some blueberries in your mouth and enjoy its benefits.