You Need Just A Few A Week!
Weve known about the anti-hypertensive qualities of blueberries, but now a new study says that we dont have to eat huge amounts of them daily to make a difference in our health.
According to research conducted by Harvard University and the University of East Anglia in England, one average serving a week (thats just half a cup) reduces the risk of developing the disease by ten percent.
The helpful compounds in the blueberries are called anthocyanins, a member of the flavonoid family (flavonoids are substances found in plants; theyve been linked to cancer prevention ). Anthocyanins are also plentiful in raspberries, blood orange juice and blackcurrants.
This is the first large study to investigate the effect of different flavonoids on hypertension. The scientists looked at the data on 134,000 women and 47,000 men as part of the Nurses' Health Study and the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which took place over a period of 14 years. None of the participants had hypertension at the start of the study.
Every two years, the participants completed health questionnaires; their dietary intake was assessed every four years. During the study, 35,000 participants developed hypertension. When the researchers looked at the relationship between flavonoids and hypertension, they found that participants consuming the highest amounts of anthocyanins were up to ten per cent less likely to be diagnosed with hypertension than those consuming the lowest amounts. The effect was even stronger in participants under 60.
The study is published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
Robin Westen is ThirdAges medical reporter. Check for her daily updates. She is the author of Ten Days to Detox: How to Look and Feel a Decade Younger.
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