New studies have found that specific properties of blueberries may help reduce the risks of developing high blood pressure. Blueberries contain high concentrations of anthocyanins and are very antioxidant rich. Anthocyanins are very dark in color, usually blue, purple or dark red. Other foods with similar antioxidant qualities are red wine, chocolate, tea, vegetables, and some grains.
For the study, scientists from Harvard University analyzed information of about 135,000 women and nearly 50,000 men. Individuals were followed for 14 years and were asked to complete health surveys every two years. Each person also had their diet analyzed every four years. None of the individuals experienced hypertension at the start of the research period.
During the study, about 35,000 individuals became hypertensive. Researchers found that individuals consuming a large amount of food containing anthocyanins noticed an 8 percent lower risk of developing hypertension than those who consumed very little. Additionally, people under the age of 60 noticed the most benefit from these antioxidants.
For this study, blueberries appeared to be more effective than strawberries for preventing hypertension.