Consume more purple fruits and vegetables to possibly lower your risk of developing diabetes, suggests new research.

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Purple products will never go out of style, regardless of whether it is "your hue" in terms of fashion or now in vogue on red carpets and fashion runways. We have plenty of proof that foods like purple potatoes, purple tomatoes, purple asparagus, purple sweet potatoes, and other produce that acquire their vivid, regal colour from the powerful disease-fighting antioxidant anthocyanin are incredibly healthy for humans. Reduced levels of chronic inflammation, lowered risk for heart disease and cancer, and other health advantages are just a few of the reasons to eat purple (or blue, or red) fruits and vegetables that are coloured by anthocyanins.

And according to a study published January 18, 2023, in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, we have even more evidence to be pro purple: Anthocyanins in plants may have properties that can help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

What This Research on Type 2 Diabetes Discovered?
Anthocyanins are an antioxidant that give some fruits, vegetables, and roots their red, purple, and blue pigments. By reviewing the findings from earlier studies, researchers in the food science department at the University of Turku in Finland discovered that a number of factors may contribute to their capacity to lower the risk for type 2 diabetes. Anthocyanins have an effect on:

metabolism of energy
the microbial composition of the gastrointestinal tract
Levels of inflammation
how some nutrients are absorbed

If anthocyanins are "acylated," or organised in such a manner that a group of atoms known as a "acyl group" is added to the sugar molecule, they are very effective at reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes. Acylated anthocyanins appear to significantly lower the risk of diabetes than non-acylated anthocyanins due to their probiotic effects.

According to postdoctoral researcher Kang Chen, "the acylation alters how the anthocyanins are absorbed and metabolised in addition to modifying physical and chemical properties."

The scientists believe that acylated anthocyanins can assist enhance the intestinal barrier in a way that enables improved absorption of some nutrients and better control of blood sugar and cholesterol. This belief is based on the findings of their investigation.

The foods that naturally contain the most acylated anthocyanins are:

  • Sweet potatoes in purple
  • Make purple sweet potato pie with them.
  • Red potatoes
  • Incorporate them: German-Style Radishes for Purple Potato Salad
  • Oven-Baked Fish with Charred Onions and Old Bay Radishes is a delicious meal to try them in.
  • Purple Carrots
  • Try them in: Roasted Purple Carrots with Black Sesame Dukkah Purple/Red Cabbage
  • Test it in: Purple Power Slaw with Sesame-Ginger Vinaigrette
  • Contrarily, the majority of the anthocyanins in blueberries and mulberries are not acylated. (But, they still provide a tonne of additional health advantages and may definitely be included in a diet that promotes health!) Also, the researchers indicate that all foods containing anthocyanins can help lower risk for type 2 diabetes, albeit in different ways and to variable degrees.

The Bottom Line
All purple fruits, vegetables, and tubers may lower risk for type 2 diabetes and a number of other chronic diseases, according to a new analysis by Finnish researchers. Acylated anthocyanins, a specific chemical in purple-colored plants, seem to have a particularly positive effect.

There are several factors than just one food group or even our whole diet that affect our chance of developing diabetes. It's crucial to adopt a multifaceted strategy that includes exercise, stress management, enough sleep, and more if you want to reduce your chances of developing type 2 diabetes in the future, have a family history of the disease, have been diagnosed with prediabetes, or simply want to reduce your risk. (ICYMI, 2 minutes of walking after meals can significantly lower blood sugar levels.)

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