How’s this for a startling statistic? 7 MILLION Americans could have diabetes and not know it.
The number of people with undiagnosed pre-diabetes is even higher.
And the bad news doesn’t end there. When your blood sugar goes up your LDL or so-called “bad cholesterol” and triglycerides tend to rise too.
At the same time, your HDL, “good cholesterol” often drops. And the combo can set you up for potential heart problems if that cholesterol becomes oxidized.
It’s why diabetics are at a higher risk for heart complications. And it’s why it’s so important to find ways to control insulin resistance—a part of pre-diabetes—and improve your cholesterol balance.
Anthocyanins combat insulin resistance & cholesterol
Now scientists say there’s a surprising solution that can help with both issues. And you’re never going to believe what it is.
It’s not another drug. It’s produce.
Or, more specifically, it’s something found hiding in dark red and purple fruits and veggies such as red cabbage.
The compounds responsible for those rich colors are anthocyanins.
They’re powerful antioxidants. And researchers say they could help us tackle insulin resistance and unhealthy cholesterol.
Seek out more purple and red produce
The meta-analysis, published in the journal Clinical Nutrition, revealed that 300 mg of anthocyanins a day for over 12 weeks leads to significant improvements in LDL, total cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
Stay on them longer and you could lose some weight and end up with a lower BMI too.
But there’s a catch. Most Americans aren’t getting anywhere near the 300 mg they need. In fact, the average is a measly 13 mg per day.
In other words, chances are you need to step up your fruit and vegetable game. Because loading up on more red and purple produce could mean better blood sugar and cholesterol. Not to mention fewer prescription drugs in your future.
Some good choices include…
- red cabbage
- red onions
- purple carrots
3 MORE anthocyanins benefits
But improved insulin resistance and cholesterol aren’t the only benefits anthocyanin’s deliver. Following are three more great reasons to eat more purple and red produce.
1. Better lung function:
Our lung function naturally drops as we age. But a study conducted at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health found anthocyanins might help slow that decline. Volunteers who ate the most of these potent antioxidants could exhale more, and faster, than those who weren’t getting as many of the compounds.
2. A sharper brain:
Eating more anthocyanin-rich blueberries and strawberries could help slow mental aging by almost three years according to the Nurses’ Health Researchers tracked more than 16,000 people for six years. And they found that the volunteers who ate the most berries experienced the least cognitive decline.
3. Lower cancer risk:
Breast, colon, and prostate cancers are three of the most common types of cancers among older adults. But anthocyanins could help reduce your risk according to a number of For example, a blueberry anthocyanin extract stopped breast cancer cells from spreading, according to study published in the journal Phytotherapy Research. And in another, anthocyanins inhibited colon cancer cells.
Don’t let insulin resistance and high cholesterol send you down the path towards diabetes and heart disease. On your next shopping trip, be sure to fill your cart with plenty of anthocyanin-rich foods.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
Follow Alice and HealthierTalk on Twitter and Facebook.