Prevent Plaque in Arteries with This Summer Fruit

Medically reviewed in February 2019

Keep your arteries healthy, flexible, and clog-free by tossing a handful of sweet, juicy blueberries into your morning yogurt cup.

Research suggests that these fruity blue gems are one of the best antioxidant-rich foods. Why? The antioxidants could help prevent plaque in arteries because they cut down on the harmful arterial lesions that give stiff, fatty plaques a place to form.

Blueberry Shields, Forever
In a recent study of animals that were at high risk of artery lesions, eating a blueberry-supplemented diet appeared to have a very protective effect. The blueberry-fed animals experienced smaller arterial-wall lesions compared with the animals on a blueberry-free diet. In fact, arterial-wall lesions were anywhere from 40 to 60% smaller in the blueberry-fed subjects. Pretty big difference.

The researchers of this study think that key antioxidant compounds in blueberries may take the credit for that difference. Antioxidant-rich foods like blueberries help clamp down on oxidative processes that can damage blood vessel walls and form lesions.

Related: Find out what else you should feed your heart to keep it young.

Antioxidants for Arteries
More research is needed to determine whether blueberries may hinder the progression of atherosclerotic plaques in people, too. But a handful of human studies have already shown that berry antioxidants are plenty kind to our arteries, thanks to similar anti-inflammatory effects. Need more reasons to eat your blueberries? How about adding blueberries to your oatmeal to help steady your blood sugar.

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