Blueberries for High Blood Pressure

In a new study out of Harvard University and the University of East Anglia, researchers followed over 150,000 men and women for 14 years to assess who among them would develop hypertension (high blood pressure). A total of 35,000 people developed the disease. And the miracle food that reportedly staved off the condition for the others? Blueberries.

According to the report, blueberries are high in anthocyanins — a bioactive compound in fruits and vegetables that provides bright-coloured pigmentation and a high level of antioxidants. Study subjects who ate at least a serving of vegetables a week reduced their risk of developing hypertension by 10 per cent.

Hypertension is a major cardiovascular condition. In Canada, five million adults have high blood pressure, representing 19 per cent of the adult population. Another 20 per cent have pre-hypertension. In other words, if anyone should be loading up our plates with blueberries, it’s Canadians. Blueberry muffins, blueberry breakfast cereals, blueberry breakfast bars and blueberry yogurt — dig into anything that can increase your intake of those health-giving anthocyanins.

You’re probably wondering, though, if there any “real” blueberries in the food you eat (i.e. muffins). Sounds like a silly question, but a new video put out by Natural News‘ Mike Adams exposes the fact that many of the “blueberry” foods we find in the grocery store don’t actually contain many, or in some cases any, blueberries.

The video elucidates the ingredients in the “blueberry bits” found in some blueberry bagels: Sugar, corn cereal, modified food starch, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, artificial flavor, cellulose gum, salt, blue #2, red #40, green #3, blue #1. Notice the complete lack of blueberries.

The video (see below) goes on to list a shocking number of processed foods with “blueberry” in the title — many contain no blueberries at all. Even products that contain a tiny amount of blueberries include fake blueberry-looking ingredients.

Unfortunate as it may be, many of the foods found in grocery stores use the names of healthy ingredients the same way they’d use a fancy color or the latest buzz word it’s just a way to get their package into your cart. You couldn’t get further away from the healthy properties of blueberries than you’re getting with these processed foods.

So be sure to read ingredients labels. It’s the only way to know for sure you’re not being lied to. You can’t be successful at healthy eating if you’re not paying attention to what you’re putting into your body.

The Healthy Foodie is Doug DiPasquale