Monday, June 19, 2017

Eat blueberries for a healthy heart

blueberries for a healthy heart

Health benefits of blueberries are well documented; now a new study advises you to eat blueberries for a healthy heart. The study revealed that these small gems are ‘berry good’ at reducing your chances of developing heart disease.

In the U.S., 1 in every 4 deaths is caused by heart disease, making it the leading cause of death among men and women. The most common form of heart disease is Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), which claims the lives of 370,000 Americans annually.

Berries are considered healthiest varieties among all fruits because they are packed with all sorts of powerful phytochemicals and fiber. They are also relatively low in sugar as compared to other fruits. Researchers at Harvard University have dubbed blueberries and strawberries as “superfoods.”
Researchers believe that antioxidants found in blueberry helps reduce buildup of LDL cholesterol or “bad cholesterol” which is responsible for heart disease and stroke. A USDA Human Nutrition Center study ranked blueberries as No. 1 for its antioxidant benefits when compared to forty different kinds of fruits and vegetables.

blueberries for a healthy heart
Blueberries contain a type of flavonoid called anthocyanins. These anthocyanins not only give it a red or purple color but they also contribute to its numerous health benefits. Anthocyanins are helpful to the endothelial lining of the circulatory system. It promotes a healthy blood pressure and possibly prevent plague buildup in arteries. According to other researches, these anthocyanins protect the heart by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress. It also enhances capillary strength and inhibit platelet formation. [Read more Carrots – the sweet root vegetables and their wonderful hidden health benefits]

Researchers from Florida State University performed a research on 48 women who were over the age of menopause and had early stage blood pressure or were at risk of developing it. These women were given doses of blueberry powder or dummy placebo powder daily. After 8 weeks, the recipients of blueberry powder were shown to have significantly lower blood pressure than before. The women who received placebo powder showed no changes.

blueberries for a healthy heart
A Harvard study led by Dr. Eric Rimm of Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School showed that women who consume three or more servings of half a cup of blueberry each week were less likely to suffer a heart attack.

For the study, Dr. Rimm and his associates collected data from 93,600 women whose ages ranged from 25 to 42. They were asked to report how often they consumed various kind of food over a period of 18 years.

Researchers discovered that women who ate fewest amount of blueberry or strawberry had an increased chance of suffering a heart attack. Women who ate the most berries were at 34% lesser chance of suffering a heart attack than those who ate the least. The researchers also didn’t find much difference in heart conditions between women who ate some berries every now and then and those who did not eat any berry at all.

“The people with heart benefits had three or more servings of a half a cup of blueberries or strawberries each week,” said Dr. Rimm.

Although the study focused on young and middle-aged women, it is likely to apply to men as well.
“If you do feeding studies where they feed people a specific diet for four weeks, the biology of what happens is similar in a 60- and a 25-year-old,” Dr. Rimm explained. “So I don’t expect the benefit is much different for others.”

It is suggested that real blueberries instead of powder or supplement should be consumed in order to get full benefits of this superfood.


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