Scientists from King’s College London have just published a study in the Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics that proves that a delicious type of berries is extremely good for cardiovascular health.
These berries clean your arteries and makes them more flexible, and can therefore lower blood pressure and counteract high cholesterol level.
You can buy these berries in all supermarkets and they are yummy.
Endothelial cells are the cells that line your blood and lymph vessels on the inside.
When they work well, your blood remains liquid and your blood vessels can contract and expand as necessary, to accommodate blood flow.
However, when they are dysfunctional, your blood has a higher chance of clotting and your blood pressure would more likely be high because your blood vessels are not as pliable as they should be.
Using ten healthy men between the ages of 18 and 35, the scientists gave the subjects drinks containing 200g, 400g, or no raspberries.
They then tested the subject’s blood pressure and the flow-mediated dilation (FMD) of their brachial artery.
FMD indicates how well an artery widens when the blood flow through it increases. It is an important measure of good heart health as arteries that can widen to accommodate the increased blood flow that keeps your blood pressure down.
The participants showed a clear increase in FMD, an effect that lasted for up to 24 hours after they drank the raspberry drink.
The researchers attributed the effect to a chemical called ellagitannins, a chemical that is native to raspberries.
The reason why they thought this chemical was involved was as they could see a corresponding increase in the urolithin metabolites in their subjects’ blood streams.
The bacteria in your intestines produce urolithin metabolites when they break down the ellagitannins in raspberries.
Given the size of the effect on FMD, they concluded that raspberries could reduce our risk of cardiovascular disease by 15%, especially if the effect can be sustained over time.
Other foods rich in ellagitannins include strawberries, pomegranates, and nuts.