Blueberries – One of the Best Fruits for DiabetesMonday, September 22, 2014
They are just so yummy! I’m frequently asked whether there are certain fruits to eat that may help cut the risk of diabetes? The answer is YES. Research shows that blueberries are a top fruit in cutting the risk of type 2 diabetes. Not all fruits have this effect on our health according to a study done in 2013.
Fruits are usually lumped together, but they differ in healthy components such as fiber, antioxidants and phytochemicals (plant chemicals). Researchers evaluated data from 187,382 participants that were part of three prospective cohort studies in the United States. The subjects did not have diabetes when the studies were started. When subjects consumed 3 servings per week of whole blueberries (not fruit juice) compared to less than 1 serving per month, their risk of developing diabetes was reduced by 24-40 percent. Wow!
It is interesting to see that the glycemic index of the different fruits studied did not appear to be the deciding factor on which fruits consumed lowered the incidence of diabetes. Blueberries were the top fruit that cut risk. Other fruits that decreased risk included whole grapes and apples (again not juice). The authors recommended consuming whole fruits including blueberries to help with diabetes prevention. To help prevent diabetes use fruit juice sparingly. In this research study, consuming at least one serving of fruit juice daily increased the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by as much as 21 percent. (1,2,3)
3 Health facts about Blueberries
According to the American Diabetes Association, one fruit exchange for blueberries is equal to ¾ cup of raw blueberries. (4) Three-fourths of a cup contains 63 calories, 0.82 grams protein and 16.08 grams carbohydrate. It is a great source of fiber with 2.7 grams. For other nutrition facts about blueberries, visit the USDA.gov site. (United States Department of Agriculture)
Many people are concerned about losing memory function as they grow older. Research has shown eating blueberries helps to improve memory function and slow cognitive decline. (5)
Phytochemicals - Animal research shows blueberries can help to decrease pre-cancerous changes in many types of cancer including estrogen positive breast cancer and colon cancer. (5)
Diabetescare.net is pleased to partner with the US Highbush Blueberry Council (www.blueberrycouncil.org) to share with you 6 beautiful, tasty blueberry recipes that fit right in with many meal plans for people with diabetes and for those who are trying to avoid diabetes. Talk to your dietitian if you do not know how to fit these recipes into your meal plan. I really hope you enjoy them!
We hope you enjoy the new blueberry recipes we have on our site. To browse through all of our recipes at DiabetesCare.net, visit our diabetes recipes section. Enjoy our blueberry recipes and let us know if you would like a diabetes friendly recipe for your favorite food.