The Fruit That Lowers Your Blood Pressure

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The fruit is as effective as
taking medication to lower blood pressure.
Eating one cup of blueberries
per day lowers systolic blood pressure, new research finds.
It could decrease the risk of
heart disease by 20%.
The fruit is as effective as
taking medication to lower blood pressure.
For the study, 40 healthy
people were randomised to one of two groups.
One group was given a drink
containing 200 grams (7 oz) of blueberries, the other had a control drink
without blueberries.
Within two hours of consuming
the blueberries, their blood pressure was reduced by 5 mmHg in the group who
had been eating blueberries.
The effect was sustained for
the whole 40 days of the study.
The researchers found that the
beneficial effect is down to anthocyanins, which are antioxidants.
Anthocyanins improve the
function of the endothelial cells, which act as a barrier between the blood and
the body’s tissue.
The antioxidant is responsible
for the pink, red, purple and blue colours of some fruits and vegetables.

Dr Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, the
study’s first author, said:
“Although it is best to eat
the whole blueberry to get the full benefit, our study finds that the majority
of the effects can be explained by anthocyanins. 
If the changes we saw in blood
vessel function after eating blueberries every day could be sustained for a
person’s whole life, it could reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular
disease by up to 20%.”
The study was published in The
Journals of Gerontology: Series A (Rodriguez-Mateo et al., 2019).

Kayode Ojo
Kayode Emmanuel Ojo is the Co-Founder and Managing Director at SHEFFA Limited. He is presently studying Computer Science at the National Open University, Victoria Island, Lagos.