Berries are beloved by many for their versatility and taste, but the secret weapon to health may be in their color. Anthocyanins, the compound that makes berries so vibrant, may help lower the risk of type II diabetes and may even help those who already have it.
Often referred to as flavonoids, these pigments are most commonly found in fruits and vegetables appearing dark purple or blue in color, such as eggplant, plums, red cabbage, pomegranates, and even red wine. But the easiest and most effective way to get more anthocyanins in the diet appears to be incorporating more whole berries. Recent research suggests that berries do a better job at lowering risk of type II diabetes than anthocyanin supplements. The exact mechanism for the success of this particular family of antioxidants in preventing and improving outcomes for type II diabetes is unknown in humans. It is likely that they can help reduce inflammation and increase insulin sensitivity, which can both delay the onset of type II diabetes and help those who already have the disorder.
It is hard to say that anthocyanins work in complete isolation. This is why it is important to incorporate berries and other foods high in anthocyanins as part of a diet comprised of whole and unprocessed foods.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy berries?