Um, Dave, You Okay?
Dave felt fine when he got to the gym. But partway through his workout, half of his face started to go numb. Then his vision blurred in one eye. When he tried to mention this to his training partner, his speech came out garbled. Then the blinding headache kicked in...
Dave was having a stroke. And surprisingly, stroking out – or even having a heart attack – is often how many people learn they have hypertension. The signs of high blood pressure are pretty subtle before that, which is why your doctor (and even your dentist) will slap a blood pressure cuff on you as soon as you walk through the door.
Since one in three Americans will suffer from high blood pressure, researchers are scrambling for pharmaceutical solutions. But the answer may be right there in the produce section of the grocery store.
Researchers gathered up 40 people and told them to either consume 200 grams of blueberries per day (in smoothie form) or control drinks without blueberries for one month.
Here's what happened: The subjects consuming blueberries reduced their blood pressure by 5mmHg, which is about what a prescription hypertension drug can do. Blood vessel function improved and cardiovascular disease risk factors decreased.
One researcher noted,
"If the changes we saw in blood vessel function after eating blueberries every day could be sustained for a person's whole life, it could reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease by up to 20%."
Why blueberries? Because anthocyanins that's why. Those are the incredibly healthy plant flavonoids that give certain foods their blue, indigo, or red color.
How to Use This Info
You could eat 200 grams of blueberries per day, preferably wild. That's almost two cups, which is probably why they were blended into smoothies for the study.
You could also take a cyanidin 3-glucoside (C3G) supplement. If you're taking Indigo-3G®, Biotest's nutrient partitioning agent for body comp improvement, then you're already getting a hefty dose of anthocyanins.
Another supplement option is Superfood which is a freeze-dried blend of 18 whole fruits, veggies, and berries, including:
- Wild blueberries (1.5% anthocyanin)
- Raspberries (0.7% anthocyanins)
- Acai berries (1% anthocyanins)
Personally, I eat about half a cup of blueberries per day but supplement with one serving of C3G and one serving of Superfood. Honestly, I do this because blueberries are delicious, Indigo-3G allows me to eat more carbs without getting fat, and taking Superfood is easier than eating 6 pounds of fruits and veggies per day.
But hey, I'll take the health benefits too. Having a stroke or heart attack would really ruin leg day. Just ask Dave.
- Ana Rodriguez-Mateos, et al. Circulating anthocyanin metabolites mediate vascular benefits of blueberries: insights from randomized controlled trials, metabolomics, and nutrigenomics. The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, 2019