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Blueberry For Diabetes

The blueberry is the second most popular fruit in the US in terms of consumption. They have one of the highest levels of antioxidants amongst all fruits and vegetables. These antioxidants are essential to good health and help by neutralizing free radicals in the body which can otherwise cause cellular and genetic damage. They can help lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disease, hypertension, obesity & weight gain and other metabolic disorders like diabetes. Several studies have been conducted that highlight the beneficial effects of the blueberry for diabetes patients.

Results of several studies have shown that eating blueberry is a natural way to control blood sugar levels. They contain compounds that can help the body to get rid of excess sugar in the blood. Also read about symptoms and causes of diabetes

Berries, generally, have a low glycemic index (GI). GI is the method used to measure the impact that food has on blood sugar levels after it is consumed. Foods that have a GI of 50 or less are considered to have a low glycemic index value. In comparison to other berries, blueberries do not have a particularly low GI value. Blueberries have a GI value of between 40 and 50, while other berries like strawberries and raspberries have a GI value closer to 30. Even so, a recent study has shown that blueberries have a favorable impact on blood sugar levels in persons who have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.

Blueberries may also improve insulin sensitivity in pre-diabetics. One study involved the use of blueberry smoothies by obese adults who were pre-diabetic. Results showed that drinking blueberry smoothies did help improve insulin sensitivity. One group was given blueberry smoothies twice a day for a period of six weeks. A control group was given a placebo smoothie twice a day for the same period. 67% of the group that drank the blueberry smoothie reported a 10% or greater improvement in insulin sensitivity as against 41% in the control group. Get to know about the diet for diabetics

These findings suggest that the phytonutrients found in blueberries, which have been known to improve heart health, may also help pre-diabetics by making their bodies more responsive to insulin. The exact manner in which these phytonutrients act may be unclear and more research is needed to determine their actions.

Latest research reports suggest that the antioxidants present in blueberry can also benefit the central nervous and overall brain health. In fact, they may also help improve memory. A study involving a group of older adults (average age of 76 years) showed that three months of daily blueberry consumption had a positive effect on cognitive function test scores. In these tests, the test subjects consumed blueberries in the form of a juice. Three quarters of a pound of blueberries was used to make one cup of juice and each test subject was given 2 to 2 ½ cups of juice every day. The results seem to suggest that blueberries might help improve memory and may also help slow down the onset of other age-related cognitive problems.

The antioxidants in blueberries include many different types of anthocyanins. These are the pigments that give the blueberries their color. They are extremely delicate in nature. Baking them tends to destroy these antioxidants and for this reason it is always better to eat the blueberries raw. Freezing them however, does not damage the delicate anthocyanin antioxidants. Studies have shown that freezing blueberries at temperatures of -17°F or lower had no effect on anthocyanin concentrations after even 6 months. This is good news for diabetics, as it means that they can enjoy blueberries all year round instead of waiting for the season.
The best way to maximize the antioxidant benefits from blueberries is to eat organic blueberries. Comparisons of antioxidant levels in organic and non-organically grown blueberries show that organically grown blueberries have a much higher concentration of antioxidants than non-organically grown ones.

Dieticians recommend a diet plan with a consumption of 5 – 10 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The balance between fruits and vegetables will depend upon personal health factors and preferences. Many dieticians believe that one should eat at least 3 servings of fruit every day. This will provide you with the optimum health benefits that fruits have to offer. With regard to berries, it is often recommended that you include berries at least 3 – 4 times a week. If you can include berries in your food plan every day, then so much the better!

Submitted on January 16, 2014