January 31, 2014

Red Wine, Chocolate, and Berries – Oh My!

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chocolate-berriesLest we not be hedonistic and indulgent, but a Journal of Nutrition study has shown that the high content of flavonoids found in berry fruits, red wine, and chocolate may regulate glucose and prevent the development of T2D.

Flavonoids are antioxidants found in plants, as well as tea, red wine and chocolate, which can protect against a wide range of diseases, including heart disease, hypertension, some cancers and dementia. The instrumental protective effect came from higher intakes of anthocyanins, which are present in strawberries, blackcurrants, blackberries and blueberries.

The research showed a link between high consumption of these flavonoids with lower insulin resistance and better blood glucose regulation. They also lowered inflammation which can lead to an array of conditions, including T2D.

The study analyzed blood samples for glucose regulation , inflammation, and insulin resistance. Researchers found that those who consumed plenty of anthocyanins and flavones had lower insulin resistance.

They also found that those who ate the most anthocyanins were least likely to suffer chronic inflammation. In the world of T2D, chronic inflammation is associated with conditions like obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

Furthermore, those who consumed the most flavonoids had improved levels of a protein (adiponectin) which helps regulate a number of metabolic processes including glucose levels.

Moderation is the key to many things in life, so it’s been said. If we can put a quantifiable serving on berries, red wine, and chocolate to reduce the rate of T2D, why not? Eat berries, drink red wine, and be merry!

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