It’s been said that an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but did you know that other fruits can help you avoid not just the doctor, but some diseases in general? Blueberries just happen to be one of those. Not only are they great to add into pancakes and oatmeal, or make into jam, but blueberries are also effective at helping to lower the risk of disease.
According to a study from the University of Surrey, there’s a link between blueberry consumption and a lowered risk of cardiovascular diseases, which are the leading cause of death in the United States. So while some foods may claim to be heart-healthy, blueberries really are good at ensuring your heart’s ongoing health throughout your life.
The study says that because blueberries are so anthocyanin-rich, they have a tremendous impact on lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Anthocyanins are colored pigments in food helping fruits and vegetables that are colored blue, red, or purple take on their color, so they literally put the blue in blueberries.
In addition to blueberries, most other berries will also help to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease because they also contain anthocyanins. Other anthocyanin-rich foods include red cabbage and eggplant.
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That research is backed up by another study published in The Journal of Gerontology: Series A that says consuming blueberries results in lowered blood pressure and improved blood vessel function.
The study says that after participants drank a wild blueberry drink they reported seeing “significant improvements” in flow-mediated dilation, or the widening of an artery when blood is flowing through that particular artery, showing that blueberries make it easier for blood to travel to and from the heart.
“Blueberries have been found in numerous studies to be an excellent source of antioxidants,” says Ronald Smith, RD, from Eat Drink Binge. “These antioxidants have been linked to reduced inflammation in blood vessels as well as anti-cancer properties.”
Smith added that blueberries have also been shown to have an impact on memory in adults, which can be a side effect of some diseases including Alzheimer’s Disease. While blueberries may not be proven to fight off Alzheimer’s, they can help you stay sharper with a more efficient memory.
Additionally, researchers from the University of Georgia also found that the blue-causing polyphenols in blueberries can reduce the risk of colon cancer in people who regularly eat them.
Sure, a blue ocean or lake is beautiful, and it’s a great color for clothing and accessories, but who would have thought the color blue could do so much for our health as well?