If you go to your doctor and discover you have heart disease, chances are that you’ll be given a statin drug to lower your cholesterol.
And you may be prescribed a blood pressure drug and perhaps a blood thinner.
But a new study shows that your doctor may help you more by prescribing a cup of blueberries a day.
A research team fromBritain’s University of East Anglia collaborated with Harvard University. They wanted to see if blueberry consumption would have an effect on metabolic syndrome.
Metabolic syndrome is the name for a group of conditions that, taken together, increase risk for heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. The conditions include high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess belly fat, and abnormally high triglyceride and cholesterol numbers.
The researchers divided 138 subjects with metabolic syndrome into three groups. One group ate one cup of blueberries a day. Another ate half a cup. The third group ate a non-fruit substitute.
Dr. Peter Curtis was a co-leader of the study. He said that after six months, the group that ate a cup of blueberries daily had “sustained improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness.”
They also slightly lowered their blood pressure and increased their “good” HDL cholesterol. The researchers calculated this led to a 12% to 15% reduction in heart disease risk.
The team found no risk-reduction for the half-cup group or the control group.
Frozen Blueberries May Be Healthier Than Fresh
It can be difficult and expensive to find fresh blueberries year round.
But frozen blueberries actually have more antioxidants than fresh, according to a 2015 study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences.
Blueberry supplements are another option. They are widely available online and at health food stores. Two capsules are often the equivalent of a cup of berries.
Editor’s Note: When it comes to heart health and just about anything else you can think of, Big Pharma wants you to believe that drugs are the answer. Discover the truth in our special report, The Top 10 Dangerous Pharmaceutical Drugs—And Their Natural Alternatives. It’s an important read for you and your family.