Think you know AARP? What you don't know about us may surprise you. Discover all the 'Real Possibilities'




AARP Real Possibilities


Piggy bank on the road - AARP Driver Safety

Take the new AARP Smart Driver Course!

Contests and

Dream Vacation Sweepstakes

10 weeks. 10 amazing trips. Seize your chance to win!
See official rules. 


ATM Mobile App for iPhone and Ipad

Enjoy the best of AARP’s award-winning publications

on the go with the new

AARP ePubs iPad App


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



share your thoughts

What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

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

Health blog

Discounts & Benefits

bring health To Life-Visual MD

AARP Bookstore

AARP Bookstore - woman reaches for book on bookshelf


Find titles on brain health, drug alternatives and losing weight. Do