Type 2 diabetes: protect yourself by eating the most colorful vegetables


The researchers observed a lower resistance to insulin when they consumed foods rich in flavonoids. Flavonoids are found in high concentrations in many fruits and vegetables.

Flavonoids are molecules of plant origin. These are pigments giving color to flowers, fruits and in some cases to leaves. The main properties of flavonoids are veinotonic, anti-inflammatory, protective (of the vessels) and antioxidant. Flavones and anthocyanins belong to the family of flavonoids.

Flavones are found in particular in certain medicinal plants such as celery, thyme or parsley. Anthocyanins are mainly present in colored plants such as berries (blueberries, blackberries, etc.), other fruits such as grapes or vegetables (eggplant, for example).

A Chinese study published in 2000 had already shown that green tea could have a preventive effect on type 2 diabetes. Green tea is rich in certain flavonoids, mainly catechins.

Flavonoids, flavones, anthocyanins: the wonderful protective molecules against type 2 diabetes

Researchers have examined the dietary habits of about 2000 healthy women, all were volunteers. They had to fill out a form with questions about their daily consumption of flavonoids and the absorption of 6 subclasses of flavonoids (flavones, anthocyanins, flavonols, etc.). Blood tests were also carried out to measure the level of glucose in the blood or glycaemia as well as the level of inflammation.

The researchers determined insulin resistance using an equation mathematical. Insulin resistance is a risk factor for pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Insulin is a hormone that makes it easier for glucose to enter cells in the body, which lowers blood sugar.

The results of this study showed that women who consumed a lot of flavonoid-rich foods containing flavones and anthocyanins had less insulin resistance and better blood sugar regulation.

The researchers also observed that a consumption rich in anthocyanins reduced chronic inflammation, associated with diseases of our time such as obesity and type 2 diabetes. Thanks to certain biochemical markers, it is possible to identify the level of inflammation in the blood.

Prefer the most colorful vegetables

The Prof. Aedin Cassidy of the University of East Anglia, who led this study, says: “We don’t know exactly how much of these flavonoids are needed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes”.

Other studies will therefore have to be carried out in order to be able to give more quantitative nutritional advice. In other words, what food and in what quantity should be consumed each day for a real preventive effect on this form of diabetes.

Flavonoids are increasingly studied in medicine and nutrition with often health effects. proven by various studies. This is why some specialists recommend always favoring colored fruits and vegetables, which are richer in anthocyanins and therefore flavonoids than green vegetables.

Regular intake of red wine, in moderation, and chocolate is also sometimes recommended, but is more controversial, because of the alcohol and fat content respectively.

Intakes of Anthocyanins and Flavones Are Associated with Biomarkers of Insulin Resistance and Inflammation in Women. Journal of Nutrition.

University of East Anglia & King’s College London

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Type 2 diabetes flavonoids insulin resistance

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