A new study shows that consuming fruits and vegetables can slash your risk of getting diabetes by 50%.
The study, published in the British Medical Journal, focused on almost 10,000 participants from eight European countries and found that those who consumed the highest levels of vitamin C and carotenoids from fruits and veggies had the lowest risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, as measured by their blood plasma levels.
According to Ladders, the researchers concluded that “higher plasma vitamin C was associated with a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes. A similar inverse association was shown for total carotenoids.”
Carotenoids are plant pigments responsible for bright red, yellow, and orange colors in fruits and vegetables and have been shown in multiple studies to promote wellbeing and health, according to Live Science.
According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a leading expert on diabetes and the author of The End of Diabetes, diabetes is a set of diseases in which the body is unable to properly use and store glucose. Rates of diabetes have been increasing over time and are still rising to epidemic proportions worldwide.
Today, about 34.1 million U.S. adults – about 13% – have diabetes, and the percentage is greater in older age groups, he says. Type 2 diabetes is much more common than Type 1, making up 90-95% of all cases. Type 1 diabetes usually begins in childhood and is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system attacks the beta-cells of the pancreas so that the organ cannot produce enough insulin, and blood glucose is elevated. In Type 2 diabetes, the pancreas still produces insulin, but the body’s cells become resistant to the effects of insulin, resulting in elevated blood glucose levels.
“Elevated blood glucose damages the circulatory system, the eyes, and nervous system,” notes Fuhrman. “People with diabetes are more likely to have heart attacks or strokes than people without diabetes. Almost 40% of adults with diabetes have chronic kidney disease, and diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among adults.”
Fuhrman has been able to treat and even reverse diabetes by prescribing what he calls a nutrient-dense, plant-rich diet, called a Nutritarian diet. “Basically, this means we focus on vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and low-sugar fresh fruits and restrict animal products and grains,” he says.
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