Eating fruits and vegetables has many health benefits. Blueberries are no exception. They are packed with vitamins and nutrients. A recent study published in The Journals of Gerontology suggests that blueberries may be good for lowering blood pressure.
Researchers examined a group of healthy men and randomly gave them a drink containing 200 grams of blueberries or a control drink every day for a month. The team monitored the men’s blood pressure and measured the flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of their branchial arteries. This is a measure of how the artery widens when blood flow increases, which is considered a marker for heart disease risk.
Within two hours of consuming the drink, effects on blood vessel function were seen. The effect was sustained after one month of daily consumption. Systolic blood pressure fell by an average of 5mmHg in the group that had the blueberry drink. The effect was similar to that of common blood pressure medications.
Scientists believe that the anthocyanins in blueberries are what is causing this to happen. Anthocyanins are responsible for the coloring of blueberries. More research is needed to know the specific biomechanics behind the association.
Ana Rodriguez-Mateos et al, “Circulating anthocyanin metabolites mediate vascular benefits of blueberries: insights from randomized controlled trials, metabolomics, and nutrigenomics”, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A (2019). DOI: 10.1093/gerona/glz047