Researchers have found that consuming blueberries regularly can help reduce a person’s chance of developing high blood pressure. In this study, medical researchers followed volunteers for 14 years and discovered that people who ate a minimum of one serving of blueberries each week were 10% less likely to develop high blood pressure than people who did not consume blueberries weekly.

The benefits of blueberries, the researchers believe, come from a compound that blueberries contain known as anthocyanin, a kind of flavonoid. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They can also be found in tea, wine, various fruits, and even dark chocolate. This study seems to show that anthocyanins such as those found in blueberries tend to perform better than other types of flavonoids when it comes to reducing blood pressure. Anthocyanins can also be found in black currants and eggplant. The researchers noted that increasing a person’s intake of vegetables and fruit — many of which are high in anthocyanins — is a great way to help reduce the risk of high blood pressure.

The Health Risks of High Blood Pressure

High blood pressure can put people at an increased risk of developing any number of cardiac and overall health issues. Heart failure, heart attack, and stroke are all much more likely in someone that suffers from high blood pressure. High blood pressure, or hypertension, is usually an indicator that the arteries are somewhat blocked or constricted, forcing the blood to be pushed through the arteries at a higher rate. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in three adults in America have high blood pressure, meaning roughly 70 million people in the US suffer from this condition. In the year 2008, reports indicated that close to 350,000 adults died as a result of having high blood pressure. In 2010, complications resulting from high blood pressure cost Americans over $93 billion.  This money was used to cover things such as medicines, healthcare and treatment, and even missed days of work.

Lowering Your Blood Pressure Naturally

In addition to increasing your intake of blueberries, regular exercise and an overall balanced diet are both essential components to reducing your blood pressure.  Decreasing your sodium intake and drinking a few cups of black coffee or tea every day can also help improve your heart health. Talk to your doctor to learn more about your blood pressure and what you can do to improve your resting heart rate naturally.

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