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June 24, 2019 in Nutrition & Health

HOW BLUEBERRIES HELP IN THE FIGHT AGAINST DIABETES

What is Type 2 diabetes?

According to Diabetes Australia, Type 2 diabetes is “a progressive condition in which the body becomes resistant to the normal effects of insulin and/or gradually loses the capacity to produce enough insulin in the pancreas.”

Our bodies need insulin to help convert glucose into energy. Think of insulin as a key that unlocks the door that lets glucose from your blood into your cells. As Type 2 diabetes progresses, your muscle, fat and liver cells become insulin-resistant – the key doesn’t work anymore.

As a result, sugar builds up in your blood. In turn, your pancreas tries to produce more insulin to fix the problem. The disease can lead to serious complications, such as heart attack.

How blueberries do their bit

Research from Louisiana State University has found that blueberries may help your body process glucose more efficiently – that is, they help improve your insulin sensitivity. In doing so, this helps you keep your blood sugar levels under control, which then may help avoid diabetes.

The reason why blueberries may be so great at fighting against diabetes? The researchers think that it is down to the high phytochemical content, particularly the anthocyanins (these are what give blueberries their trademark colour).

Berries and a diabetic diet

If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you can still enjoy plenty of fresh berries in your diet. Blueberries, strawberries, blackberries and raspberries all score low on the glycemic index – so you can enjoy them as a great, healthy source of fibre, vitamins and antioxidants.

Blueberries have a glycemic index (GI) of 53, which is classified as a low GI.