Eating blueberries daily may decrease blood pressure

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According to a new study published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, researchers at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, have found that eating blueberries daily may decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.

For the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers enrolled 48 postmenopausal women with pre- and stage 1-hypertension and randomly assigned them to consume freeze-dried blueberry powder equivalent to one cup of fresh blueberries daily or placebo for 8 weeks.

Results showed that in the blueberry group, mean systolic blood pressure and mean diastolic blood pressure had decreased by 5.1% and 6.3%, respectively, compared with no change in blood pressure in the control group. In addition, they found that blueberry consumption improved arterial stiffness possibly due to enhanced nitric oxide-mediated vasodilation.

The recommended treatment for patients with pre- and stage 1-hypertension is lifestyle modification, such as dietary changes, rather than medication.

The DASH diet, which focuses on a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, has been consistently ranked the best diet to reduce blood pressure. The findings of this study suggest that blueberries have a promising beneficial effect on vascular health and should be included in one's diet to prevent hypertension.

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Eating blueberries daily may decrease both systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
With hypertension (HTN) affecting nearly 80 million people in the United States and cardiovascular disease (CVD) the leading cause of death, any intervention that can lower blood pressure has the potential to save lives.
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