Regular consumption of blueberries was found to have a similar effect in lowering blood pressure as prescription medication, according to a new study published in Journal of Gerontology Series A. Researchers at King’s College London studied 40 participants that were divided into two groups: one that consumed a beverage containing 200 mg of blueberries daily and a control group that consumed a beverage without blueberries. After one month, the team found that participants who consumed the blueberry-infused drink exhibited improved blood-vessel function within two hours and reduced their systolic blood pressure by 5 mmHG—an effect that is similar to that of prescription medication. Researchers further studied the effects of purified anthocyanins—the phytochemical responsible for the blue hue in blueberries—and found further cardiovascular benefits. “Although it is best to eat the whole blueberry to get the full benefit, our study finds that the majority of the effects can be explained by anthocyanins,” lead researcher Ana Rodriguez-Mateos said. “If the changes we saw in blood vessel function after eating blueberries every day could be sustained for a person’s whole life, it could reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 20 percent.”

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