Several recent studies show various health benefits of blueberries, the small blue and purple berries available in most grocery stores. Compared to other popular fruits, blueberries contain the most antioxidants and other phytochemicals that can lower blood pressure, improve memory and make aging a healthier process.
Recently, in The Journals of Gerontology, Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences published a total of five studies on blueberries. The research examines several possible health effects of berry consumption, including changes in inflammation, memory and the prevention of age-related diseases in old age.
One study found that eating about one cup of blueberries a day could lower systolic blood pressure. This is the highest number in a blood pressure measurement that indicates the pressure on the arteries as the heart muscle contracts. It has also been found that consuming this amount of blueberries improves blood vessel function. These benefits were associated with herbal chemicals called anthocyanins.
In addition, the studies found a link between the consumption of blueberries and the improvement of cognitive function and memory in older adults. One study cites the polyphenols found in blueberries and grapes as a catalyst for improved episodic memory in older people with poor memory but who were otherwise healthy.
Even if it seems too good to be true, the benefits will remain there. Another study found a link between the consumption of blueberries and other health benefits, including a reduction in inflammation that may help a single age without developing the diseases that typically manifest in the older years.
Previous research has found similar health benefits associated with blueberries, a so-called "superfruit". Blueberries are not only sold in several stories as fresh and frozen products, but are also commonly available as herbal tea. A number of other berries also contain high levels of phenols and other beneficial compounds.