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Diabetics Have a Reason To Eat More Blueberries

Blueberries are the most antioxidant packed common fruit on the market and researchers recently found that a daily smoothie containing a blueberry extract may help lower the risk of diabetes.

Researchers from Louisiana State University conducted the study and published their findings in the September 2010 issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

The researchers recruited 32 participants at high risk of developing diabetes for the study. The participants were all obese and insulin-resistant with an average age of 51.

The participants were randomly assigned to receive a daily smoothie containing 22.5 grams of the blueberry extract or a placebo smoothie that had the same nutritional value but no blueberry extract. They consumed two smoothies per day for six weeks.

By the end of the study, 67% of the participants in the blueberry group saw a 10% or greater improvement in insulin sensitivity compared to just 47% in the placebo group. Specifically, the participants who consumed the blueberry smoothie for six weeks experienced a 22% change in insulin sensitivity compared to only 4.9% in the placebo group.

Blueberries have been receiving an increasing amount of interest for their health benefits due to their high levels of flavonols and anthocyanins, two powerful types of antioxidants.

Wild blueberries tend to have the highest levels of these beneficial antioxidants and their health benefits go far beyond their potential for preventing diabetes. For instance, they have been shown to help with weight management, lower the risk of dementia, reduce cholesterol and may even prevent some cancers.

A good way to incorporate more of these antioxidant packed fruits into your diet is by adding them to pancakes, salads and smoothies.

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