Bring on the blueberries: The antioxidant-rich fruit may help to lower blood pressure, according to a study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which included 40 postmenopausal women with prehypertension or mild hypertension. Those who consumed freeze-dried blueberry powder (equal to a cup of fresh blueberries) every day for eight weeks had reductions in blood pressure (7 points systolic and 5 points diastolic, on average), as well as decreases in arterial stiffness, compared to those given a placebo powder.
The researchers attributed the benefits to polyphenols in blueberries, which may improve blood vessel functioning by boosting nitric oxide production. A previous study found similar blood pressure reductions in obese people with cardiovascular risk factors using double the dose of blueberry powder.
See our recipe for: Spiced Blueberry Pie.