Jun 24, 2013
Berry Blast Smoothie. Low-glycemic.
All fruits are not off limits for diabetics. In fact, some berries have been studied and proven to be of benefit to those with type 2 diabetes…
For example, blueberries may help your body process glucose for energy efficiently, both increasing its sensitivity to insulin and managing blood sugar, which can help you fight diabetes. A University of Michigan Cardiovascular Center study notes that laboratory rats that were fed blueberries crushed into a powder showed improved insulin sensitivity, even when eating a high-fat diet along with the blueberries.
Since most people with type 2 diabetes struggle with insulin resistance, greater sensitivity to insulin can help manage the disease. The study also showed that laboratory rats that ate a powder made from crushed blueberries had lower blood sugar than they did prior to eating the blueberry powder, and researchers noted that their genes changed to allow their bodies to process glucose more efficiently than previously. According to the Joslin Diabetes Center, if you suffer from type 2 diabetes, you may be able to lower your blood sugar by consuming plenty of high-fiber foods like blueberries.
“Primates are the only animals that can sense sweet tastes. Fruit is an essential part of the human diet. We have such a large area of our tongue to taste sweets and a natural inclination to enjoy them. Our natural sweet tooth has a purpose – sweets from fresh fruits and other plant substances provide us not just with carbohydrates for energy but also with a large assortment of phytochemicals and other substances that prevent illness.
“Unfortunately, in our society, our natural primate desire for sweets is typically satisfied by consuming products containing refined sugars – candy bars, soda, and ice cream – instead of fresh fruit. The American Heart Association released a statement in 2009 reporting that the typical American adult now consumes an unbelievable 22 teaspoons of added sugar each day – even more troubling was that teens were found to consume even more added sugar – 34 teaspoons per day.
“Refined sugars and nutrient-depleted processed sweets – deficient in fiber, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals – are a poor substitute for fresh fruit. These foods are harmful, but even more harmful is that we are missing hundreds of valuable phytochemicals when we eat these nutrient-deficient desserts instead of fresh fruit.
“Fresh fruits are natural, nutrient-rich, health-promoting foods. Researchers have discovered substances in fruits – especially blueberries and strawberries – that have unique effects on preventing aging and deterioration of the brain. Adding more fresh fruit to the diet can decrease the risk of diabetes. Some fruits, especially blueberries, are rich in anthocyanins and other compounds that have anti-aging effects. Apple consumption is associated with decreased risk of colorectal cancer. Eating citrus fruits decreases the risk of all cancers of the digestive tract. Overall fruit consumption has been shown in numerous studies to offer our strongest protection against several cancers: oral and esophageal, lung, prostate, colorectal, and pancreatic cancer.
|click on the photo to purchase Dr. Fuhrman’s book
The End of Diabetes
In Dr. Fuhrman’s book, The End of Diabetes, you will find specific guidelines for consuming foods that will help prevent, and in some cases reverse, type 2 diabetes. There are also many delicious recipes included!
This recipe is for one of my lovely readers, whose husband is following Dr. Fuhrman’s plan in an effort to reverse his diabetes and requested a berry smoothie without bananas, (a usual sweetener for my smoothies, which ultimately increases the sugars). The coconut water adds a bit more sweetness to the tart berries, but not too much. You can use plain, pure water instead if your berries are sweet (mine were not).
If you are not fond of blackberry seeds, which are inevitable when you use them in smoothies, try some ripe strawberries instead. Berries are in season now, so try to find some plump, delicious ones and make sure they’re organic! See my article on The Dirty Dozen and the Clean 15 to find out why.
- 1 cup frozen blueberries
- 1 cup frozen blackberries
- 1 cup frozen raspberries
- small handful frozen mango chunks
- 2 cups unsweetened, pure coconut water
- 3 kale leaves
- 2 TBS flax meal
- Place all ingredients into a high-powdered blender and blend until smooth.
- Serve topped with some fresh berries (they will eventually sink and it’s fun to scoop them out at the end… like finding hidden treasures!)
- Johnson RK et al. Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health. A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
- Joseph JA et al. Grape juice, berries, and walnuts affect brain aging and behavior. J Nutr. 2009 Sep;139(9):1813S-7S. Epub 2009 Jul 29.
- Bazzano LA et al. Intake of fruit, vegetables, and fruit juices and risk of diabetes in women. Diabetes Care. 2008 Jul;31(7):1311-7. Epub 2008 Apr 4.
- Cao, G., B. Shukitt-Hale, P.C. Bickford, et al. 1999. Hyperoxia-induced changes in antioxidant capacity and the effect of dietary antioxidants, J. Appl. Physiol. 86 (6): 1817-22.
- Jedrychowski W et al. Case-control study on beneficial effect of regular consumption of apples on colorectal cancer risk in a population with relatively low intake of fruits and vegetables. Eur J Cancer Prev. 2010 Jan;19(1):42-7.
- Foschi R et al. Citrus fruit and cancer risk in a network of case-control studies. Cancer Causes Control. 2009 Oct 24. [Epub ahead of print]
- Block , G, Paterson, B, and Sabar A, 1992, Fruit, Vegetables and Cancer Prevention: a review of epidemiological evidence. Nutr. Cancer 18 (1): 1-29.