A new study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reveals that the simple dietary addition of strawberries and blueberries could have a major impact on the risk for high blood pressure. High blood pressure is one of the biggest risk factors for serious health problems like stroke and heart disease.
The study, which followed more than 100,000 people, revealed that those who had the highest levels of anthocyanin from blueberries and strawberries had an 8% reduced risk of high blood pressure. The positive effects of the antioxidant from the berries were evident even after researchers accounted for other factors that could increase the chance for developing high blood pressure. While this study wasn’t completely free of limitations, it does show that careful attention to dietary factors can have a major impact on heart health.
People who have other risk factors for high blood pressure, like a family history and an above average BMI, should consult their health care provider about dietary interventions that may reduce their risk. A healthier diet that includes more fruits and vegetables and the addition of prescription medications could help manage blood pressure levels. Health care providers may also suggest participation in regular exercise in order to reduce weight and help get blood pressure levels under control.