Fruit and veg of a certain colour could cut your risk of diabetes
Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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Diabetes stems from insufficient insulin production – a hormone that helps to regulate blood sugar levels. Stripped of this key mechanism, your blood glucose levels can reach dangerous heights, triggering a cascade of complications. Fortunately, new research suggests that some fruits and vegetables could help stave off the blood sugar condition.
From bright yellow to deep purple, the variety of colours in the fruit and vegetable section of your local shop probably paints a whole rainbow.
However, opting for certain hues could help reduce your risk of type 2 diabetes, according to research.
Fans of purple potatoes, radishes and red cabbage can rejoice as red, purple and blue pigments have been linked to the potent effects.
Researchers from the University of Turku found that fruits, vegetables and tubers in these colours can cut the risk of the blood sugar condition by affecting energy metabolism, gut microbiota, and inflammation.
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It all comes down to anthocyanins, which describe a group of antioxidants responsible for these deep colours in produce.
The new review article compared the research results in this topic area, noticing that the beneficial effect of anthocyanins on type 2 diabetes is increased if the anthocyanin is acylated.
When it comes to food, a great number of acylated anthocyanins can be found in purple potatoes, purple sweet potatoes, radishes, purple carrots and red cabbages.
On the flip side, the likes of bilberries and mulberries contain mostly nonacylated anthocyanins.
Acylated anthocyanins are poorly absorbed in digestion but they offer probiotic properties and reduce the risk of diabetes more efficiently than their nonacylated counterparts.
Postdoctoral Researcher Kang Chen at the Food Sciences Unit, University of Turku, Finland, said: “The studies have shown that, in addition to changing physical and chemical properties, the acylation affects how the anthocyanins are absorbed and metabolised.”
The acylated group proved to be a more effective antioxidant, improving the intestinal barrier in your tummy that enables the absorption of necessary nutrients.
Furthermore, these anthocyanins can help maintain gut microbiota homeostasis, suppress pro-inflammatory pathways, and modulate glucose and lipid metabolisms.
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If you’re looking for the ideal candidate to add to your shopping list, Chen explained that purple vegetables contain most acylated anthocyanins in general, with purple potatoes being especially “abundant” in these goodies.
Once you eat these antioxidants, they travel through your body from the upper gastrointestinal tract to the colon where the magic happens.
What’s more, this isn’t the first research to highlight the positive effects of anthocyanins on diabetes.
Research, published in the journal Current Developments in Nutrition, found that pomegranate juice was able to reduce blood sugar levels in “minutes”.
The participants with low fasting serum insulin experienced a “significant” drop in their blood glucose just 15 minutes after enjoying the drink.
The researchers concluded that components in pomegranate juice “likely” regulate people’s glucose metabolism, with one of the potent parts being anthocyanins.
One of the theories is that the pigments that give the juice its characteristic deep colour are able to bind with sugar and prevent a big effect on your insulin levels.
Another study, published in the journal Nutrition Research, also found that the red drink was able to lower fasting serum glucose and decrease insulin resistance in those with type 2 diabetes.
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