Blueberries & Heart Health, The Little Blue “Pills” That Could!:
Many of the improvements people try to make are to modify things they already do.
But as advanced as we are in the western world, we seem to make lots of mistakes with Diet.
And so the crazy health-hackers out there like us sometimes look for the opposite-extreme: Superfoods, like we found out before with nuts.
Well, we can add another amazing benefit to one of the traditional superfoods we’ve heard about for awhile, because if East Anglia’s work about Blueberries is right, they could be a lifesaver…
Super-Foods Before We Get The Super-Drugs:
So before we all get the magic super-drugs that fix every ailment instantly,
And rewrite your DNA, turning you into a super-soldier like Captain America,
We have to do the best with what we have, and one of the best ideas was penned about 2,000 years ago by the ancient world supergenius Hippocrates,
Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.
Well, the short answer for U.EA’s work on Blueberries looks like that’s proved true again,
Because eating above a certain minimum amount of blueberries every day was correlated with a significant reduction in heart-disease, even for overweight and obese people!
Read on to find out more…
Vitamins From Diet Still Looking Better Than Pills:
You see, the quest for a Superfood is all about something you eat that has almost drug-like effects,
That are above and beyond the standard-benefits seen from what people would call an “average” diet.
What is it they have in some uncommon-concentration that makes them both more powerful, and also good for you?
-Because, as a few recent studies have suggested, not only are vitamins in pill-form unlikely to give us what we need,
They could be downright-dangerous because of concentration-levels our bodies are just not prepared-for.
Wait, Is This Just More BS, Like Acaí?:
And while the mythical Acaí berry turned out to be mostly a flop for all the metabolism-boosting claims touted,
We probably have another one that does work, and that’s what the study from UEA found.
So in that longest-yet 6-month-trial of about 140 people between the ages of 50 and 75,
All of whom were either just overweight or even obese and also had the dreaded “Metabolic Syndrome”,
Researchers managed to get them to eat either 1 Cup of blueberries daily, or 1/2 Cup.
And honestly, you wouldn’t believe the results.
Amazing But True, Drug-Like Results From A Food:
After that study period, the characteristics of their cardiovascular-system changed so much,
That the subjects eating 1 Cup of blueberries a day ended the study with about a 12%-15% reduction in risk for cardiovascular disease.
Not from a Drug; but a natural food!
Now it’s a certainty that none of the researchers would suggest going off actual prescription-medication for heart-disease,
But that is an Astounding result!
Even more suprising, there is no indication the subjects made any other changes in diet and exercise.
No Calorie-Counting, No Mediterranean Diet, No Intermittent-Fasting, Nada.
They only added about 85 Calories of damn Blueberries to their already-high (2500+ ?) daily intake!
Blueberries Helping Your Heart? How The Hell Did That Work?:
Well, if you were on HT back around the entry for Neal Barnard’s amazing work on healthy-foods for your brain,
You would know that among other food-items he did small studies on including mixed-nuts and evil saturated-fats,
He also did some pretty impressive work on Blueberries,
Long story short: He reversed Pre-Dementia or possibly Mild Cognitive Impairment in his study subjects by getting them to drink blueberry-juice every day.
So there is something special in the odd chemicals that blueberries make, called Anthocyanins.
Red grapes also have something so similar,
Dr. Neal was even able to produce similar results in a separate group that just drank grape juice.
Anthocyanins Are Magic, But Watch The Dosage!:
And this recent work is just another study that proves those Anthocyanins are magic,
Not only are they powerful antioxidants,
They have been shown over-and-over to improve your blood-circulation in really-significant ways.
If Dr. Barnard can use them, along with reduction in saturated-fat intake to reverse MCI, then they’ve got to be powerful.
But Note!: Dosage is still important!
Because the East Anglia team also found something very important.
The circulation-effects did not happen for the group who only ate 1/2 Cup of blueberries a day.
So it probably still needs to exceed a certain quantity per-pound of bodyweight to be effective.
Not to encourage anyone to overdose on blueberries, but weight is a factor.
One More Thing:
Just as another vote for the amazing blueberry, here are some more reported benefits:
1) Super-low in calories, but high in vitamins & nutrients
1a) They are high in: Vitamin C, Manganese, and Vitamin K
2) They are among the Highest Antioxidant foods available, in the form of chemicals called phytoflavonoids.
3) These may protect many parts of your body from damage due to Free-Radicals
4) They also protect your Blood-Chemistry from getting worse, especially Cholesterol
5) The phytoflavonoids may also protect your whole Brain from the oxidative damage Neal Barnard discusses, too
6) They will likely improve Cognitive Function due to Improved-Circulation
7) They may also improve Insulin-Sensitivity in people with Blood-Sugar problems
Imagine You Could Do Even Better Than The Test-Subjects:
So there you go, another Superfood that taken long-enough and in enough quantity,
Can deliver fairly amazing results for a tiny, natural, non-engineered, food-item.
So maybe we can say that As Long As You Get The Dosage Right,
Old Hippocrates really was right about some things in your diet being so healthy,
That food really can be almost a type of Medicine.
…Now just think of how awesome you could be if you were otherwise perfectly-healthy,
And at the right weight, and STILL ate 1 Cup a day!
Just remember what’s good for your Cardio-System is good for your Brain, too.
Because if the anthocyanins from blueberries improve circulation, then they are good for many other things than just your Heart!
Photo Credits: “blueberries heart”, by Couleur
• Source: U. East Anglia
• Source Studies: AJCN – Blueberries improve biomarkers of cardiometabolic function in participants with metabolic syndrome—results from a 6-month, double-blind, randomized controlled trial | Nutrients – The Effect of Anthocyanin-Rich Foods or Extracts on Vascular Function in Adults: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomised Controlled Trials