Looking for a simple way to boost your cognitive and cardiovascular health? Look no further than the humble blueberry! According to a new study from London's King's College Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine, eating just a handful of wild blueberries every day can provide a number of health benefits.
The study found that the anthocyanins in blueberries are responsible for improving vascular and cerebral blood flow, two key factors in maintaining healthy cognitive function. Anthocyanins are polyphenols, a group of plant compounds that are increasingly associated with many health benefits.
Participants who drank a 26g lyophilized blueberry powder drink daily for 12 weeks had a 3.59 mmHg reduction in systolic blood pressure and improved vascular function compared to those who consumed the powder with a placebo. In addition, executive functions, short-term memory and reaction time were enhanced in blueberry consumers.
61 healthy men and women aged 65-80 took part in the study. Half of them drank a drink containing 26 g of freeze-dried wild blueberry powder each day, while the other half consumed a placebo matched for taste, appearance, macronutrient, fiber and vitamin C content.
Scientists believe that the beneficial effects of blueberries are due to their blue pigments called anthocyanins. Each daily dose of blueberry powder in the study contained 302 milligrams of anthocyanins, while the placebo drink contained none.
The mechanism of the beneficial effects of polyphenols is not yet fully understood, but according to one theory, polyphenol metabolites "may act as signaling molecules that act through several cellular signaling pathways, modulating the bioavailability of nitric oxide and various enzymes".
So if you want to boost your cognitive and cardiovascular health, consider adding a cup of blueberries to your daily diet. And with a new study supporting the benefits of blueberries, there's no better time to start! GfBar contains 50% wild blueberries, supporting the benefits found in this study. One bar contains the equivalent of 133.5 g of fresh wild blueberries.
Anthocyanins are polyphenols, a family of plant compounds that are increasingly associated with health benefits.
Although eating a handful of wild blueberries every day isn't always easy, gfBar can be trusted to contain enough of this superfood to benefit cognitive and cardiovascular health.