How Wild Blueberries Can Help Lower Blood Pressure and Improve Brain Function

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Wild Blueberries: Boost Brain Health and‌ Lower Blood Pressure

Wild blueberries ​are known for⁣ being⁤ packed full of vitamins, minerals, and ⁣antioxidants. From‌ shiny summer‍ blueberries found in backyard bushes to dried and frozen varieties sold in stores, these luscious treats have ​become increasingly popular around⁢ the world.

But did you know that wild⁣ blueberries‍ are particularly helpful⁤ when it‌ comes​ to your health? Researchers‍ have long recognized wild blueberries as being particularly mouth-watering and super-nutritious — the most antioxidant-rich of​ all types of blueberries.⁤

If you’re looking⁤ for⁣ a natural way‌ to help lower your blood pressure and enhance your ⁣brain health,‌ consider including wild blueberries in your regular diet.⁢

What are Wild Blueberries?

Wild blueberries are small blueberries that grow naturally ‍on bushes throughout⁢ North America. The wild blueberry⁤ bushes in the⁢ United States and Canada tend to bear ⁣smaller fruits than their cultivated counterparts, but they possess an incredible⁢ concentrated and‍ powerful flavor and subtle⁢ sweetness.

Besides having a higher antioxidant content, ‍wild blueberries have an excellent vitamin C content too — whether⁣ eaten fresh, dried, or⁤ frozen.

Wild Blueberry Benefits: Lower ‌Blood ⁢Pressure ⁤and‍ Brain Boost

If you’re ⁢looking for‍ natural ways to keep your body in top shape, here are two‍ reasons why adding wild blueberries to your diet is a wise health decision:

Lower Blood Pressure

Recent ‌research from⁣ the universities of Toronto and Montreal has shown that eating wild blueberries helps ⁢lower blood ‌pressure. Scientists discovered ⁢that the anthocyanins found in wild blueberries ⁣inhibit an enzyme called angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE), which narrows ‌your blood vessels. This leads to ​lower⁢ blood pressure, thanks to the improved blood flow.

Brain Health‌ Boost

Wild blueberries also hold ‍the key to better brain health. Studies have shown that ‍snacking⁢ on wild blueberries daily can help protect your brain from aging ‌and help improve your⁢ cognitive skills.

The high content of polyphenols present in‌ wild blueberries helps⁣ protect your​ brain and boosts its performance.‍ Wild blueberry​ extracts ​can⁣ also help reduce‌ inflammation,⁣ which is linked to cognitive decline.

Wild Blueberries:⁢ Practical ‌Tips and Serving Suggestions

Now that you ‌understand the‌ importance of wild ⁢blueberries for​ your health, you’re probably wondering how ​to include them in⁣ your‍ diet. Here⁤ are a few tips and​ serving suggestions to get you started:

Fresh ‌or Frozen Blueberries

When ⁣buying ​fresh or frozen wild blueberries,⁢ be sure to avoid any ‌berries‌ that show⁢ signs of mold, discoloration, or are soft. Look for blueberries that are even in size and have⁣ a dark purple color with a white ⁤bloom.

Dried Blueberries

Dried blueberries⁣ are ‌perfect ⁤for snacking and make a wonderful addition to ⁤many ⁤recipes. When buying⁢ these,‍ check for color, texture, ⁤and lack ‍of discoloration.

Serving Suggestions

Here are some delicious ways to enjoy wild blueberries:

-Add some fresh wild ​blueberries to your morning oatmeal, yogurt, and cereal for a yummy, calorie-controlled breakfast.

-Create a smoothie⁣ blended with wild blueberries ‍and other ‍fresh fruits ‌to give your ⁢body and ‌brain a healthful boost.

-Make wild blueberry muffins with wild blueberry syrup for a tasty treat.

-Toss dried wild blueberries into your⁤ trail mixes or⁤ blend them⁤ with steamed oatmeal, ice cream,‌ and other desserts.

-Add sliced wild blueberries to ‍salads for a more balanced, nutritious meal.

The⁤ Science Behind Wild Blueberries:‌ Antioxidants‌ and More

The science behind wild blueberries helps explain​ why they are such nutritional powerhouses — particularly when consumed in‍ their raw, natural form. ‍

Wild blueberries are packed⁤ with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium,⁣ phosphorus, and zinc as well as natural sugars and acids. There’s also a great content of dietary fiber, making them excellent for digestion.

When it comes to antioxidants,‌ wild blueberries are king. ‍Wild blueberries contain a higher concentration of anthocyanins than their cultivated counterparts. ​

Anthocyanins are⁣ polyphenols found in plants and are known for their powerful⁤ antioxidant abilities. Studies have​ shown that ‌these⁣ flavor-rich polyphenols may be beneficial in reducing ​inflammation and‌ potentially protect cells from oxidative‍ stress and ⁣disease.

Indulge in Richness ⁣and Taste: An Invest in Your Health

Next time you’re browsing the grocery‌ aisle ‍or the​ farmers’ market looking ‌for healthy treats, add wild blueberries to your​ shopping list. Their shiny coats and deep-purple color appeal to the eye — but don’t let their small size ‌fool you. ⁤They‍ can ⁣pack a much-needed nutritional punch to​ your meals and snacks.

Whether you’re looking ‌for a natural way to help lower your blood pressure or just wanting to snack on ⁤something that’s good for your ⁣body in moderation,​ add⁤ wild blueberries to your ‍diet and ⁢enjoy the sweet, delicious‍ taste while benefiting from their ⁢amazing superpowers.

Through conveniently available frozen⁢ and dried alternate forms of blueberries, it is easy to ‍enjoy the goodness of vitamin, minerals, and anti-oxidants that⁣ a wild blueberry can offer all around the year!

  • According to a new study, people who eat blueberries may be able to reduce their blood pressure.
  • Drinkers of wild blueberry powder exhibited improvements in blood vessel function as well.
  • Other research has discovered that consuming blueberries — or blueberry components known as anthocyanins — enhances vascular function

A cup of wild blueberries is not only a tasty, low-calorie snack, but it also lowers blood pressure, improves blood vessel function and provides a small brain boost, a new study suggests.

People who consumed a drink made out of freeze-dried wild blueberry powder once a day for 12 weeks saw a reduction in their systolic blood pressure of 3.59 millimeters of mercury (mmHg), compared to people who consumed a drink made from a placebo powder.

Wild blueberry powder drinkers also saw improvements in their blood vessel function, as measured by flow-mediated dilationTrusted Source.

The study was published March 25 in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

Heart-related benefits of blueberries

An earlier study by the same researchers at King’s College London in the United Kingdom found similar changes in middle-aged healthy males who consumed a drink made from wild blueberry powder.

Other studies have also found that eating blueberries — or blueberry compounds known as anthocyanins — improves vascular function.

These kinds of changes are good for the entire cardiovascular system.

“Any reduction in blood pressure reduces the incidence of stroke, heart attack and other end-organ damage,” Dr. Robert Pilchik, a cardiologist with Manhattan Cardiology in New York City, who was not involved in the new study, told Healthline.

He pointed to a recent study which found that for each 5 mmHg decrease in systolic blood pressure, a person’s risk of cardiovascular events such as heart attack or stroke fell by 10%.

In addition, Pilchik said the new study showed that the decrease in systolic blood pressure was due to improvements in the ability of the blood vessels to dilate (widen) and endothelial function. The endothelium is a thin membrane that lines the inside of the blood vessels and heart.

“This improvement of endothelial function in and of itself is a protective factor against atherosclerosis,” he said.

Atherosclerosis, the build-up of fats, cholesterol and other substances on the inner artery walls, can increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, vascular dementia and other conditions.

The new study, though, found no significant differences between the two groups for arterial stiffness, diastolic blood pressure or blood lipids — risk factors for cardiovascular disease — or cerebral blood flow.

Lower cerebral blood flow — blood flow the brain — is linkedTrusted Source to an increased risk of dementia.

Randomized controlled trial

This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial included 61 healthy older adults aged 65 to 80 years.

Around half of the participants consumed a beverage each day containing 26 grams of freeze-dried wild blueberry powder rich in anthocyanins — the equivalent of just under one cup of fresh blueberries.

The rest consumed a similar-tasting powder with no anthocyanins, but the same level of vitamin C.

Food studies sometimes use powdered foods to ensure more precise measurements.

The study was funded by the Wild Blueberry Association of North America.

Blueberries provide brain boost

In the new study, researchers also found that people who consumed a drink made from wild blueberry powder saw improvements on two cognitive function tests — immediate word recall and a test of task switching.

However, there was no improvement in delayed word recall, in contrast to an earlier studyTrusted Source using wild blueberry juice.

Dr. James E. Galvin, professor at the University of Miami and director of the Comprehensive Center for Brain Health at UHealth — University of Miami Health System, cautioned that this is a small study. However, “the results suggest that powdered blueberries provided a significant benefit in memory recall,” he said.

“While future studies are needed to replicate these findings,” he said, “this work is exciting because trials such as this one provide experimental confirmation of observational studies of dietary patterns.”

So what kind of impact would eating a handful of blueberries every day have on a person’s risk of developing dementia?

Galvin said by itself, this single change would have only a small effect.

However, “in combination with other lifestyle changes such as physical exercise, cognitive activity, social engagement, mindfulness, green space exposure and other such activities, it is likely to have a more powerful effect,” he said.

Together, diet and these other modifiable lifestyle factors make up a “Resilience IndexTrusted Source” developed by Galvin and his colleagues. This measure provides an estimate of a person’s dementia risk, and also suggests ways they can lower that risk through lifestyle changes.

Similarly, a 2020 reportTrusted Source by the Lancet commission on dementia identified 12 modifiable risk factors for dementia, including diet. Making changes to these risk factors could prevent or delay up to 40% of dementias, the report found.

Eat a variety of nutrient-dense foods

The dietary worksheet that Galvin uses for his resilience studies includes a category for berries and nuts, which “contain rich polyphenols that may offer neuro-protective benefits,” he said.

Polyphenols are naturally occurring plant compounds found in fruits, vegetables, tea, chocolate and other foods. These have been linked to a number of health benefitsTrusted Source.

The authors of the new study believe that the vascular and brain-related benefits of wild blueberries are due to a specific type of polyphenol called anthocyanins.

Pilchik said in addition to the benefits seen in this study, blueberries have other heart-related benefits.

Blueberries are a good source of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and removes it from the body, he said, and they are also high in antioxidants, which can reduce inflammation in the body.

Both of these can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and events, said Pilchik.

And, of course: “blueberries are delicious,” he added.

While blueberries are proven to improve your health, many other foods are also high in polyphenols or other beneficial components. Eating a wide variety of foods on a regular basis guarantees that you get the maximum health advantages.

The Mediterranean diet, which emphasizes the consumption of fruits, vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats such as olive oil, is a good example of a varied diet rich in nutrients.

This diet has been shown to improve heart healthTrusted Source and reduce the risk of dementiaTrusted Source.

“In studies of people living with dementia, individuals following a Mediterranean style diet had a slower progression than people who ate a more typical American diet,” said Galvin.

“So, I believe there is ample convergence of evidence supporting the importance of diet in dementia prevention,” he said.

One comment

  1. Definitely going to give this a try!
    MainStreetMama: Sounds like a yummy way to stay healthy!
    #Awesome – who doesn’t love blueberries?

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