Green vegetables may reduce diabetes risk

A diet rich in green leafy vegetables may reduce the risk of developing diabetes, UK research says.

In an analysis of six studies into fruit and vegetable intake, only food including spinach and cabbage was found to have a significant positive effect.

A portion and a half a day was found to cut type 2 diabetes risk by 14%, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) reports.

But experts urged people to continue to aim for five portions of fruit and vegetables a day.

Green vegetables

Eating greens every day such as broccoli, kale, spinach, sprouts and cabbage can reduce your risk of developing the condition by 14 per cent.

The vegetables are rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which has been linked to lower levels of diabetes.

Diabetes UK is currently funding research into whether fermentable carbohydrates found in foods such as asparagus, garlic, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes could help weight loss and prevent Type 2 diabetes.

It is thought the carbohydrates cause the release of gut hormones which reduce appetite and enhance insulin sensitivity, thereby leading to improved blood glucose control and weight loss.

4 Replies to “Green vegetables may reduce diabetes risk”

  1. Eating broccoli could reverse the damage caused by diabetes to heart blood vessels, research suggests.

    A University of Warwick team believe the key is a compound found in the vegetable, called sulforaphane.

    It encourages production of enzymes which protect the blood vessels, and a reduction in high levels of molecules which cause significant cell damage.

    Brassica vegetables such as broccoli have previously been linked to a lower risk of heart attacks and strokes.

    People with diabetes are up to five times more likely to develop cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes; both are linked to damaged blood vessels.

    The Warwick team, whose work is reported in the journal Diabetes, tested the effects of sulforaphane on blood vessel cells damaged by high glucose levels (hyperglycaemia), which are associated with diabetes.

    They recorded a 73% reduction of molecules in the body called Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS).

    Hyperglycaemia can cause levels of ROS to increase three-fold and such high levels can damage human cells.

    The researchers also found that sulforaphane activated a protein in the body called nrf2, which protects cells and tissues from damage by activating protective antioxidant and detoxifying enzymes.

  2. A new study has revealed that garlic has enormous potential to prevent cardiomyopathy, a form of heart disease that is a leading cause of death in people with diabetes.

    Wei-Wen Kuo and colleagues note that diabetics have at least twice the risk of death from heart disease as others, with heart disease accounting for 80 percent of all diabetes-related deaths.

    Especially dangerous is diabetic cardiomyopathy, which inflames and weakens the heart”s muscle tissue.

    The study results indicated that garlic might help control the abnormally high blood sugar levels that occur in diabetes. They found that rats given garlic oil experienced beneficial changes associated with protection against heart damage.

    The changes appeared to be associated with the potent antioxidant properties of garlic oil, the scientists say, adding that they identified more than 20 substances in garlic oil that may contribute to the effect.

    “In conclusion, garlic oil possesses significant potential for protecting hearts from diabetes-induced cardiomyopathy,” the report said.

    The find appears in ACS” bi-weekly Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

  3. Eating green leafy vegetables could help cut the risk of Type 2 diabetes, research suggests.

    Broccoli, kale, spinach, sprouts and cabbage can reduce the risk by 14 per cent when eaten daily. The vegetables are rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which has been linked to lower levels of diabetes.

    Researchers at the University of Leicester examined six existing studies and compared people’s intake of green leafy vegetables. They found those who consumed more than one serving a day had a lower risk of diabetes than people who barely ate any. The current UK recommendation is for people to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, including one of 80g.

  4. Scientists at Southampton University found that volunteers who ate 80 grams of watercress a day – the equivalent of a single vegetable portion – had elevated levels of cancer-fighting molecules in their blood within hours of eating the salad leaves.

    Extracts from crushed watercress were also shown to inhibit the growth of breast cancer cells.

    The pilot study suggests that eating watercress could help prevent the development of breast cancer while also helping recovering breast cancer victims avoid a recurrence of the disease.

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