Having a stroke or heart attack really interferes with making gains. Consume two cups of this food to lower high blood pressure.
How do you know if you’re having a stroke? Well, you’ll lose control of half of your face, get blurry vision, and experience a blinding headache. Oh, and your speech will come out garbled as you’re stumbling around trying to tell someone about it.
Surprisingly, that’s how many people learn they have hypertension: by stroking out or even having a heart attack. 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 people will suffer from high blood pressure, and around 25% will have a stroke sometime in their lives, researchers are scrambling for pharmaceutical solutions. But the answer may be right there in the supermarket’s produce section.
Researchers gathered up 40 people and told them to either consume 200 grams of wild blueberries per day (blended into a smoothie) 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. The control group showed no improvements.
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.
You could eat 200 grams of wild blueberries per day. That’s almost two cups, which is probably why they were blended into smoothies for the study. Wild blueberries are smaller because they have less water content. Think of them as “concentrated” blueberries. That gives them, cup for cup, 33% more anthocyanins than regular blueberries.
You could also take a cyanidin 3-glucoside (C3G) supplement. If you’re taking Indigo-3G®, our nutrient partitioning agent for body comp improvement, then you’re already getting a hefty dose of anthocyanins.
Another supplement option is Superfood, 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 at least a cup of wild blueberries per day and supplement with one serving of C3G and one serving of Superfood. 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 six pounds of fruits and veggies per day. But hey, I’ll take the health benefits too. Having a stroke would really ruin leg day.
Now, blueberry smoothies and anthocyanin supplements may not be able to tackle dangerously high blood pressure, so talk to your doctor. But including them in your diet and supplement plan is a wise choice regardless.
- Rodriguez-Mateos A et al. Circulating anthocyanin metabolites mediate vascular benefits of blueberries: insights from randomized controlled trials, metabolomics, and nutrigenomics. J Gerontol A Biol Sci Med Sci. 2019 Jun 18;74(7):967-976. PubMed.