(RxWiki News) A healthy diet is a huge part of preventing diabetes. So, what is a healthy diet? Well, blueberries, apples, and pears seem to be a good choice, at least when it comes to protecting yourself against diabetes.
People may lower their risk of diabetes by eating foods high in flavonoids, a natural substance found in many plants, including fruits, vegetables, and grains. This risk-lowering effect is especially strong through eating blueberries, apples, and pears - fruits that are rich in a specific type of flavonoid.
"Eat more blueberries and apples to reduce your risk of diabetes."
Past studies have shown that flavonoids have a positive effect on people's sensitivity to insulin, a hormone that manages blood sugar and plays a key role in the development of diabetes.
"However, few studies have evaluated the relation between intakes of different flavonoid subclasses and type 2 diabetes," write Nicole M. Wedick, a research fellow at the Harvard School of Public Health, and colleagues in their recent study.
So, the researchers set out to see if eating different types of flavonoids - such as flavonols, flavones, flavonones, flavan-3-ols, and anthocyanins - was associated with a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.
They found that a specific type of flavonoid called anthocyanin was especially associated with a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanin is found in foods like blueberries, apples, and pears.
According to the study's results, people who ate higher amounts of blueberries had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes, compared to those who did not eat blueberries.
Similarly, eating at least five servings of apples or pears per week was associated with a 23 percent lower risk of diabetes.
The study involved more than 200,000 men and women from the United States. Over the course of the study, there were 12,611 cases of type 2 diabetes.
The results are published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.