Americans now have an even more pressing reason to increase their fruit consumption, as an analysis from the Nurse’s Health Study has discovered that consuming blueberries can significantly reduce an individual’s chances of developing high blood pressure.
Dr. Rimm’s team at the Harvard Medical School gathered data from 93,600 women, who, at ages 25 to 42, signed up for the Nurses’ Health Study. Over the course of 18 years, they reported how often they ate various kinds of food. Why look at relatively young women? They are a group at low risk of heart attack. Factors that increase this risk should be easier to tease out in this population than among older people with many heart attack risk factors. And risk factors seen in young women likely apply to older women and men.
And a risk factor did turn up: women who ate the fewest blueberries and strawberries were at increased risk of heart attack. Those who ate the most were 34% less likely to have suffered a heart attack than were women who ate the least of these fruits.
The findings do apply to everyone because these berries are in anthocyanins which can help to lower blood pressure and make blood vessels more elastic. They are a sub group of flavonoids, though it is still yet to be proven if there are other substances in blueberries and strawberries that can add to better health. The recommended suggested serving is three to four cups of berries a week.
Research has also found that blueberries can improve cognitive thinking and memory in older adults. Those in the study that drank wild blueberry juice every day scored higher on memory tasks than others who did not consume the juice.
Even pies, salads and berry yogurt can provide what is needed to make a difference in your health and, consequently, provide lower life insurance premiums.