Did you know a big helping of blueberries each day can improve blood pressure in healthy people, research shows. Scientists tested the effect on healthy volunteers of consuming 200 grams, or two cupfuls, of blueberries for a month. Over the course of the study participants’ systolic blood pressure was lowered by an average 5mmHg (millimetres of mercury). Systolic pressure is the pressure that builds up in blood vessels with each pump of the heart. It reduces when blood vessels relax and dilate and increases when they contract. The level was similar to that seen in patients taking blood pressure-reducing drugs.
The scientists traced the blood pressure benefits of blueberries to anthocyanins, plant pigments responsible for the blue, red and purple colour of some fruits and vegetables. Another great reason to eat blueberries every day.
The research is published in the Journal of Gerontology Series A.