Get Free Help Preparing Your Taxes From AARP Foundation Tax-Aide. Find a location


AARP Staying Sharp: Keep Your Brain Healthy
Bob Dylan Talks!


Military and Veterans Discount


You Could Choose Your Dream Vacation


Introducing RealPad by AARP


AARP Auto Buying Program

Download the ipad App



Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!


AARP Games - Play Now!


Planning for Long-Term Care for Dummies

Get expert advice on planning for your own or a relative’s future care needs.


Learn From the Experts

Sign up now for an upcoming webinar or find materials from a past session.

Learning centers

Get smart strategies for managing health conditions.



Heart Disease


Most Popular


Health Discovery

Blueberries May Lower Blood Pressure

Just a cup of berries a week could help

Just eating one cup of blueberries or strawberries a week may help you lower your risk of high blood pressure.

Hypertension affects more than a third of American adults, but a simple lifestyle change — eating more darker-colored foods that contain natural compounds called anthocyanins — may cut your risk of developing it.


— Brigitte Sporrer/Cultura/Corbis

Anthocyanins — found mainly in fruits and vegetables such as blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cranberries, black currants, eggplants and blood oranges — seem to protect against high blood pressure, according to a team of British and American nutritionists whose study appeared in the February issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

The researchers investigated the effect of different natural compounds called flavanoids — including anthocyanins — on the health of about 157,000 men and women, none of whom had hypertension at the start. They completed periodic health questionnaires, and their diets were assessed regularly over a period of 14 years.

Researchers found that people who ate the most foods with anthocyanins were 8 percent less likely to be diagnosed with hypertension over time than those who consumed the least. Those who ate at least one serving of blueberries a week were 10 percent less likely to develop high blood pressure compared with study participants who ate no blueberries.

Aedin Cassidy, a professor the School of Medicine, University of East Anglia, U.K., the study's lead author, says, "Anthocyanins are present in many of the foods we already like to eat and so they are easily incorporated into the diet."

He says these latest findings, part of a growing body of evidence that anthocyanins have a beneficial effect on blood flow and blood vessels, means "it is an excellent idea to consume more of them." Jonathan Murray, director of patient food and nutrition at the New York University Langone Medical Center, who was not involved in the research, agrees. "Although I'd like to see further research on the association between these foods and reduced hypertension, we should keep in mind that it can't hurt to eat blueberries and it might very well help. It's rather like an insurance policy."

Joan Rattner Heilman writes about health and consumer issues.

Topic Alerts

You can get weekly email alerts on the topics below. Just click “Follow.”

Manage Alerts


Please wait...

progress bar, please wait

Tell Us WhatYou Think

Please leave your comment below.


Symptom Checker

Enter your medical symptoms to find out possible causes and treatments. Read

Health Encyclopedia

Find the information you need about health conditions, symptoms and medical procedures. Read

Health Screenings and Vaccines

What screenings and shots do you need? Read

Discounts & Benefits

From companies that meet the high standards of service and quality set by AARP.

Walgreens 1 discount membership aarp

Members get exclusive points offers from Walgreens, Duane Reade and

member benefit aarp hear usa

Members can save 20% on hearing aids with the AARP® Hearing Care Program provided by HearUSA.

AARP membership discount Man trying on eyeglasses at optometrists smiling

Members save up to 60% on eye exams and 30% on glasses at LensCrafters.

Member Benefits

Join or renew today! AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.