Blueberries are Good for your Heart and Arteries

WebMD’s director of nutrition Kathleen Zelman calls blueberries a “powerhouse” that tops her list of healthy fruits.

Lisa Hark, PhD, co-author of Nutrition for Life: The No-Nonsense, No-Fad Approach to Eating Well and Reaching Your Healthy Weight, says, “Blueberries are not only delicious but are also rich in antioxidants.”

Studies conducted at the USDA Human Nutrition Center have found that blueberries rank No. 1 in antioxidant activity when compared with 40 other fresh fruits and veggies.  Antioxidants help neutralize harmful byproducts of metabolism called free radicals that can lead to cancer and other age-related diseases. Anthocyanin, the antioxidant that is thought to be responsible for this major health benefit, can also be found in blackberries, black raspberries, black currants, and red grapes.

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The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that the flavonoids in blueberries improved vascular function in healthy men in a time- and intake-dependent manner.

Hark recommends a 1 cup serving of blueberries a day. Fresh, frozen, or dried, they can be added to cereal, muffins, or eaten by themselves.

Am J Clin Nutr. 2013 Nov;98(5):1179-91. doi: 10.3945/ajcn.113.066639. Epub 2013 Sep 4.

Intake and time dependence of blueberry flavonoid-induced improvements in vascular function: a randomized, controlled, double-blind, crossover intervention study with mechanistic insights into biological activity.

Rodriguez-Mateos A1Rendeiro CBergillos-Meca TTabatabaee SGeorge TWHeiss CSpencer JP.