According to new research by the University of East Anglia, eating a cup of blueberries a day reduces risk of cardiovascular disease by up to 15%.

In order to get the benefits, a person should consume 150g, about 1 cup, of blueberries a day. The team wanted to see whether eating blueberries had any effect on Metabolic Syndrome, which consists of high blood pressure, high blood sugar, and excess fat around the waist.

Lead researcher Prof Aedin Cassidy, from UEA’s Norwich Medical School, said “Having Metabolic syndrome significantly increases the risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes and often statins and other medications are prescribed to help control this risk.

“Previous studies have indicated that people who regularly eat blueberries have a reduced risk of developing conditions including type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease. This may be because blueberries are high in naturally occurring compounds called anthocyanins, which are the flavonoids responsible for the red and blue colour in fruits.”

The participants of the study, 138 overweight and obese people aged 50-75 with Metabolic Syndrome, ate freeze-dried blueberries daily for six-months. Those participants received increasing improvements in vascular function and arterial stiffness.

What about if you eat less than 150g?

“Unexpectedly, we found no benefit of a smaller 75 gram (half cup) daily intake of blueberries in this at-risk group. It is possible that higher daily intakes may be needed for heart health benefits in obese, at-risk populations, compared with the general population.”