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Berries May Lower Insulin Response, Reduce Risk of Diabetes

Previous studies have suggested that berries help manage blood sugar levels. However, the majority of these studies were conducted in a lab or using animals. A recent study using human participants has found that eating berries with white and rye bread lowers insulin response, possibly reducing the risk of type-2 diabetes.

The study included three trials, each with approximately 15 healthy women.

In the first trial, the women ate white or rye bread with either a control or 5 ounces of puree made of strawberries, bilberries, or lingonberries. In the second trial, the women consumed the same amount of bread with either a control or a puree of raspberries, cloudberries, or chokeberries. In the third trial, the berry puree was made of equal amounts of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and blackcurrants.

The researchers then examined the effects of the berry puree on the insulin response of the participants.

The researchers found that only strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries lowered insulin response. They also found that strawberries lowered the glycemic profile of white bread by 36%. The berry mixture lowered the white bread glycemic profile by 38% and the rye bread glycemic profile by 19%.

Researchers at the University of Eastern Finland conducted the study. It was published in the April 2013 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.

Berries are packed with antioxidants called phytochemicals. The phytochemicals found in berries have previously been linked with weight management, reducing cholesterol and possibly reducing the risk of some cancers.

Berries can easily be added to your daily diet by including them in a balanced breakfast of whole grains and yogurt or substituting frozen berries for your favorite dessert.

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