Eating blueberries reduces heart disease risk

Eating blueberries reduces heart disease risk

Eating blueberries reduces heart disease risk

Eating just one cup of blueberries a day may reduce blood pressure and arterial stiffness, which are both major risk factors for cardiovascular disease.

Our findings suggest that regular consumption of blueberries could potentially delay the progression of prehypertension to hypertension, therefore reducing cardiovascular disease risk,” said Sarah A. Johnson, assistant director of the Center for Advancing Exercise and Nutrition Research on Aging (CAENRA) and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Nutrition, Food and Exercise Sciences at Florida State University.

Johnson and her team wrote a new paper, “Daily blueberry consumption improves blood pressure and arterial stiffness in postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension.” They set out to find if eating blueberries reduces heart disease risk.

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

Study shows eating blueberries reduces heart disease risk

The study participants were 48 menopausal women with hypertension.

Over an 8-week period, they were randomly assigned to eat either 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberry powder or the same amount of placebo powder.

At the beginning of the study, the participants were measured for arterial stiffness and certain blood biomarkers.

After the 8 weeks, the blueberry powder participants showed a 7 mmHg (5.1 percent) decrease in systolic blood pressure, and a 5 mmHg (6.3 percent) reduction in diastolic blood pressure.

There was also an average reduction of 97 cm/second (6.5 percent) in arterial stiffness in the blueberry group.

Additionally, they found that nitric oxide levels were increased by 68.5 percent. Nitric oxide helps widen blood vessels, and reduce risk of hypertension.

This study showing that eating blueberries reduces heart disease risk by reducing blood pressure and arterial stiffness was published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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REFERENCES:
1. “Blueberries: Small Fruit Delivers Big Reward.” Florida State University. Florida State University, 8 Jan. 2015. Web. 09 Jan. 2015.
2. “Daily Blueberry Consumption Improves Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Postmenopausal Women with Pre- and Stage 1-Hypertension: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial.” Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 7 Jan. 2015. Web. 9 Jan. 2015.

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