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This powerful antioxidant can help you stabilise and lower your blood sugar levels

by , 11 July 2016
This powerful antioxidant can help you stabilise and lower your blood sugar levels
Are you diabetic? Well, then, it's time to expand your dietary vocabulary - starting at the beginning of the alphabet with “A” for anthocyanins.

Anthocyanins are potent antioxidants that give foods like cherries and blueberries their rich, vibrant colouring.

In 2014, a study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that foods rich in anthocyanins helped stabilise and lower blood sugar levels. Therefore, anthocyanin-containing foods are a smart addition to your diabetes-friendly eating plan!

Here are four tasty foods that are excellent sources of anthocyanins to add to your shopping list.

Four foods rich in anthocyanins

#1: Blueberries
A 2010 study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that overweight subjects with insulin resistance (a condition that usually precedes diabetes) bettered their insulin sensitivity and decreased their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by drinking a blueberry smoothie every day for six weeks. Those are amazing results that almost anyone could live with, so get blending!
 
#2: Cherries
Anthocyanins give both sweet and tart cherries their deep red pigment. Research presented at the 2009 Experimental Biology meeting found that eating a cup and a half of frozen cherries can improve antioxidant activity in your body for about 12 hours. Other studies have found that eating tart cherries regularly can reduce the type of belly fat linked to type 2 diabetes, which may in turn lower your risk for heart disease. When you’re shopping, keep in mind that experts suggest opting for fresh cherries over frozen ones. This is due to the fact that when you freeze cherries, they can lose up to 50% of their anthocyanins.

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#3: Sweet potatoes
Both purple-skinned as well as orange-skinned sweet potatoes pack an anthocyanin punch. What’s more is this vegetable is also rich in fibre, vitamins and antioxidants. When you boil them, they’re a low GI (glycaemic index) food, meaning they won’t spike your blood sugar as much as high GI foods. A Pakistan Journal of Botany study recently identified a protein in sweet potatoes that’s similar to Caiapo; a dietary supplement made from the peel of white-skinned sweet potatoes that grow in Japan. Extensive research shows that this supplement plays a role in lowering blood sugar and decreasing insulin resistance in people with type 2 diabetes.
 
#4: Black beans
The American Diabetes Association recommends that diabetics should include black beans in their diets because they’re rich in fibre and protein; both of which keep blood sugar levels steady. However, this isn’t the only reason to love black beans … red, black and kidney beans (all of which get their deep colour from anthocynanins) contain certain polyphenols that can help decrease your risk for diabetes-related vessel inflammation and heart disease by preventing plaque from clogging your blood vessels.
 
Add these foods to your diet ASAP to help lower your blood sugar naturally.

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