Okay, it's no news flash that blueberries are nutritious. But here's something you probably didn't know: They may help keep your arteries from clogging and reduce high cholesterol levels.
In an animal study, researchers discovered that blueberries could have the power to cut LDL cholesterol levels almost in half.
In the study, scientists noted that the blueberry health benefits persisted even when the test subjects were fed a high-fat diet. At the end of the 3-week study period, the blueberry-supplemented diet had reduced LDL (the bad stuff) cholesterol by as much as 44%. And total cholesterol had dipped 27%. Pretty impressive numbers. More study is needed to see whether the same benefits would hold true in humans, but researchers are optimistic. (Is your cholesterol in the danger zone? Take this quick assessment for personalized health tips on lowering high cholesterol levels.)
How Sweet It Is
Researchers think the blueberry health benefits may include keeping blood fats down because of their liver-supportive nature. The liver is the organ that helps the body lower high cholesterol levels. And compounds in blueberries appear to help activate certain genes in the liver, giving it a boost in doing its job more efficiently. That's just one more reason -- in addition to their blood-pressure-lowering and fat-cell-thwarting powers -- to always have fresh, frozen, and freeze-dried blueberries on hand. So start snacking on this superfruit by trying one of these sweet recipes:
- Enjoy breakfast in bed. Eat a Low Fat Blueberry Bran Muffin.
- Drink your blueberries. Try a Blueberry Smoothie.
- Say yes to dessert. Wild Blueberry Apple Pie.
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