Does diabetes run in your family? Or maybe your doc has already been hounding you about keeping an eye on your blood sugar?
Well no matter whether you’re concerned about a future diagnosis, or already have the disease, the results of a stunning new study are bound to sound like music to your ears.
According to an Oxford University professor, a team of researchers has uncovered what could be the key to avoiding diabetes, as well as many of the terrible complications that come with the disease.
And, believe it or not, the answer is fresh fruit!
Slash diabetes risk with 5 fruits a day
The massive study followed half a million adults for seven years to reach the shocking result. And the findings are turning traditional wisdom—which has long had folks who are at risk for diabetes, or already diabetic, avoiding fruit—on its head.
Since fruits are high in fructose, or fruit sugar, and contain glucose, health professionals often encourage their patients with blood sugar issues to be very conservative, and limit the fruit in their diets. But according to the new research, published in the journal PLOS Medicine, not only shouldn’t folks who are concerned about diabetes not be avoiding fresh fruit, they should be indulging in up to five servings a day.1
In fact, researchers say every serving of fruit eaten is linked to a 12 percent drop in diabetes risk. So it’s easy to see how fitting in a few extra portions a day could send your risk plummeting.
But the fresh fruit benefits didn’t end there.
Send diabetes complications plummeting
Even folks who were already diagnosed with diabetes profited from their fruit eating. Eating fruit more than three days a week sent their risk of dying from any cause, to drop by 17 percent over the long term study. And equally as exciting, the fruit eating slashed their risk for some of the worst diabetic complications—including heart disease, stroke, kidney disease, eye diseases and neuropathies—anywhere from 13 to 28 percent.
The researchers speculate that the natural sugars in fruit may not be metabolized in the same way as refined sugars. And they point out that fruit is high in fiber, minerals, antioxidants and polyphenols which likely work together to reduce both the risk for diabetes and its complications.
Other recent research has found that high fiber foods, like fruit, populate our guts with the kind of healthy bacteria that can protect us against diabetes.2 According to Finnish researchers the good gut bugs secrete indolepropionic acid, which both protects you against diabetes and triggers the beta cells in your pancreas to secrete insulin.
In other words, if you’ve banned fruit from your diet it’s time to reconsider. Becoming a fruit fan could save you from a diabetes diagnosis, or complications from the disease.
Dig into diabetes-friendly superfruits
Wondering what fruits to try? To get the most bang for your fruit buck we suggest you eat a wide variety, including these three diabetes-friendly superfruits.
Heart complications are a very real risk for folks with blood sugar issues. But pomegranates can help keep your heart healthy. The delicious ruby red fruits are packed with punicic acid and potent antioxidants that experts say naturally lower cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as reduce blood pressure.3,4 In a study of folks with diabetes and high LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, pomegranate significantly reduced the volunteer’s risk for heart disease and hardening of the arteries.5
Loaded with powerful antioxidants and vitamin C, tiny blueberries are packed with a lot of nutrients. Plus, experts say their flavonoid content could help you ward off diabetes. The anthocyanins in blueberries help with insulin sensitivity and the processing of blood sugar.6,7,8 In a study published in the Journal of Nutrition 67 percent of the folks receiving a blueberry smoothie had significant improvements in their insulin sensitivity.9
Grapes are brimming with the antioxidants quercetin and resveratrol, which have been found to help ward off heart disease and high cholesterol. Plus, according to Hungarian researchers, resveratrol fights insulin resistance which could lower your risk for diabetes.10 Just make sure you choose a purple or red variety.
1. “Fresh fruit consumption in relation to incident diabetes and diabetic vascular complications: A 7-y prospective study of 0.5 million Chinese adults,” PLOS Medicine,Published: April 11, 2017, journals.plos.org, Accessed: 4/21/2017
2. “Indolepropionic acid and novel lipid metabolites are associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes in the Finnish Diabetes Prevention Study. Scientific Reports, 2017; 7: 46337
3. “Potent health effects of pomegranate,” Adv Biomed Res. 2014; 3: 100
4. “Pomegranate for Your Cardiovascular Health,” Rambam Maimonides Med J. 2013 Apr; 4(2): e0013
5. “Anti-oxidative effects of pomegranate juice (PJ) consumption by diabetic patients on serum and on macrophages,” Atherosclerosis, Volume 187, Issue 2, August 2006, Pages 363–371
6. “Fermented Canadian lowbush blueberry juice stimulates glucose uptake and AMP-activated protein kinase in insulin-sensitive cultured muscle cells and adipocytes,” Can J Physiol Pharmacol. 2007 Sep;85(9):956-65
7. “Effect of Blueberin on fasting glucose, C-reactive protein and plasma aminotransferases, in female volunteers with diabetes type 2: double-blind, placebo controlled clinical study,” Georgian Med News. 2006 Dec;(141):66-72
8. “Anti-diabetic properties of the Canadian lowbush blueberry Vaccinium angustifolium Ait,” Phytomedicine, Volume 13, Issues 9–10, 24 November 2006, Pages 612–623
9. “Bioactives in Blueberries Improve Insulin Sensitivity in Obese, Insulin-Resistant Men and Women,” J Nutr. 2010 Oct; 140(10): 1764–1768
10. “Resveratrol improves insulin sensitivity, reduces oxidative stress and activates the Akt pathway in type 2 diabetic patients,” Br J Nutr. 2011 Aug;106(3):383-9
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.
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