Study Reveals That Blood Pressure Can Be Lowered By This Simple Berry
A small study in the United States has recently revealed that eating blueberries can control blood pressure. In particular, it lowered the blood pressure of middle-aged women who were suffering from borderline high blood pressure.
Blueberries. The study involved freeze-dried blueberries. The women in the study ate the blueberries for two months. At the end of the trial period, the women had lowered blood pressure. Additionally, the women also had increased levels of nitric oxide which relaxes blood vessel walls.
"This tells us that blueberries may improve the health of blood vessels in addition to reducing blood pressure," said Sarah Johnson, who led the study.
Johnson is a nutrition and exercise researcher at Florida State University in Tallahassee. Her team did not suggest that blueberries could replace hypertension medicine, but they did notice that it could help offset rising blood pressure. The blood vessel walls were also relaxed which lowered the women's risk for heart disease.
The study had a total of 48 women. All of the women were past menopause, had an average age of 55, and were diagnosed with borderline high blood pressure. The American Heart Association believes that a blood pressure reading of 120/80 is considered healthy. All of the women in the study were at the pre-hypertensive or in the low end of hypertension range.
The study lasted a total of eight weeks. Half of the test participants consumed 22 grams of freeze-dried blueberries in powder form every day. The other half consumed an identical-colored powder which did not contain blueberry.
The women's blood pressure levels were tested at the beginning of the study. The tests were also repeated at 4 weeks and at the end of the study at 8 weeks.
At the end of the eight weeks, the women who had been consuming the blueberry powder had an average blood pressure reading of 131/75. This represented a total drop of 5 to 6 percent. The women who consumed the non-blueberry powder had no change in their blood pressure levels.
In addition, the blood nitric oxide levels of the blueberry powder group rose by 68 percent. The women in the placebo group had the same blood nitric oxide levels. Johnson also noted that the rise in the nitric acid could have been the reason for the decrease in their blood pressure.