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Blueberries have always been regarded as a ‘super food’ high in antioxidants, but a new study has shown that eating blueberries protects against high blood pressure (hypertension). The study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, took place over 14 years and involved 134,000 women and 47,000 men and looked at the relationship between individual flavonoids and hypertension.
Anthocyanins, the flavonoid found in blueberries and strawberries, appeared to offer the greatest protection against hypertension with those consuming the highest amounts of anthocyanins being 8% less likely to be diagnosed with hypertension when compare to those who consumed the lowest amounts. The blood pressure reducing effect was even stronger in participants under 60 years and stronger for blueberries rather than strawberries consumption. Compared to people who ate no blueberries, those eating at least one serving of blueberries per week were 10% less likely to suffer from hypertension.
Reference: Cassidy A, O’Reilly EJ, Kay C, et al. Habitual intake of flavonoid subclasses and incident hypertension in adults.
Am J Clin Nutr 2011;93(2):338-47.