The more easily blood flows through your arteries and veins, the less your heart has to work. Now researchers from England and Germany have proven that less than a cup of wild blueberries can have an almost immediate and long lasting effect on how well your vascular system is circulating blood.
Researchers from the University of Reading and the University of Dusseldorf conducted two randomized, controlled, double-blind crossover studies in 21 healthy men between 18 and 40 years old. They wanted to determine the impact of various amounts of wild blueberries on cardiovascular function.
In the first study, some of the men drank varying amounts of blueberry polyphenols, ranging from the equivalent of 240 grams (3/4 cup) to 560 grams (1¼ cups) of wild blueberries. Others were given a drink with the same macro and micronutrients but no blueberry polyphenols.
The researchers then measured changes in the men's "flow-mediated dilation." FMD is the gold-standard technique to measure endothelial function. The endothelium is the lining of the blood vessels. FMD is considered a good predictor of cardiovascular disease risk.
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