Posted on Jun 25, 2019, 5 p.m.
A cup of blueberries a day has been found to help keep cardiovascular disease away. Are these lovely little blue beauties giving apples a run for their money? Research from the University of East Anglia published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that yes they are.
Consuming 150 grams a day of blueberries has been found to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by 15%, this effect was even stronger among those who were overweight and already at an elevated risk for the condition.
“Previous studies have indicated that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This may be because blueberries are high in naturally occurring compounds called anthocyanins, which are the flavonoids responsible for the red and blue colour in fruits. We wanted to find out whether eating blueberries could help people who have already been identified as being at risk of developing these sort of conditions.” says lead researcher Aedin Cassidy.
Metabolic syndrome significantly boosts risk for heart disease, those with this condition have at least 3 of the following risk factors: low levels of good cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides, high blood sugar, high blood pressure, and excess body fat around the waist.
138 overweight and obese individuals between the ages of 50-75 with metabolic syndrome were recruited; participants ate either 150g or 75g of freeze dried blueberries or a placebo made from artificial colors and flavoring every day for 6 months.
“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%,” says co-lead author Dr. Peter Curtis.
No benefit was observed in those who only consumed a half cup of blueberries daily. “The simple and attainable message is to consume one cup of blueberries daily to improve cardiovascular health,” says Curtis.
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This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.