Benefits of eating blueberries
As the season of blueberries arrives, there is no better time to start consuming them. These berries provide numerous benefits to our health, and here are some of them:
- Blueberries and high blood pressure
Blueberries are known for their ability to lower our blood pressure. This is the reason why raw blueberries or even blueberry juice is not recommended to those who have low blood pressure.
The effects of these berries on high blood pressure were examined in a study that involved 48 post-menopausal women, all of which were diagnosed with hypertension beforehand. Half of the women were given 22 grams of blueberry powder (equivalent to a cup of fresh blueberries), while the other half of women was given a placebo. After eight weeks, the first group of women had their systolic pressure reduced by more than 5%, while their diastolic blood pressure dropped by 6.3%. The other group exhibited no changes in blood pressure, as expected.
Blueberries in powder form are also responsible for reducing arterial stiffness, leading to improved blood flow, which lowers the risks of cardiovascular disease-
- Blueberries and heart attack
A study published in the medical journal, Journal of the American Heart Association, claims that consuming no less than three servings of these berries per week, accompanied by strawberries, significantly reduces the risks of heart attack. Researchers from Harvard University’s School of Public Health conducted a study that involved more than 93 thousand women with their age ranging from 25 to 42. The topic of the research were these women’s berry-eating habits. In the end, the research found that the women who consumed more than three servings of blueberries and strawberries through the week were 33% less likely to suffer from heart attack. The study also included women who ate other fruits and vegetables, but not blueberries, and their chances of heart attack were slightly higher.
- Blueberries and brain aging
Annals of Neurology published a study that came to the conclusion that blueberries are able to reduce brain aging by up to 2.5 years. Another Harvard study followed this data, and performed their own research on 16,010 subjects over the age of 70. Based on the submitted questionnaires that focused on the seniors’ diet, the researchers concluded that the first study’s results were accurate, and that blueberries can reverse our brain aging by 2.5 years.
Blueberries don’t have these effects only on elderlies; they work on the younger population too. Research shows that children who are given blueberry juice show improved cognitive function, up to a day after consuming the drink.
- Blueberries and cancer
Due to the amount of antioxidants found in them, blueberries are more than able to handle any free radicals roaming in your body before they have the time to cause any serious damage, such as cause cancerous cell growth. Nutrition Research’s study finds that blueberries also increase the amount of NK, or natural killer cells. These are white blood cells that are responsible for helping our immune system fight viruses, bacteria, and even tumors. The research included 25 men, and the same amount of women, divided into mixed groups of 25. One group was given placebo, while the other one received 38 grams of blueberry powder, equivalent to 250 grams of fresh berries. After a six week period, the second group showed a significant increase in NK cells.