Blueberries combat diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cancer
In a recent double-blind, placebo-controlled study, 32 obese, insulin-resistant (pre-diabetic) adult men and women drank smoothies made with freeze-dried blueberry powder for six weeks. A placebo control group consumed smoothies without blueberry extracts.
With no changes in body weight or composition compared to controls, the blueberry group showed a statistically significant and much greater improvement in insulin sensitivity (22.2% plus or minus 5.8%) versus the placebo arm (4.9% plus or minus 4.5%).
Another study examined 48 individuals afflicted with metabolic syndrome, the constellation of pathologies that includes high blood pressure, central obesity (around the abdomen), elevated blood glucose, insulin resistance, and unfavorable lipid profiles (high LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and low HDL cholesterol). In this randomized, controlled trial, participants consumed a freeze-dried blueberry drink or an equal amount of fluids. After eight weeks, the blueberry group experienced greater decreases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure readings, compared with the control group. The test group also exhibited lower levels of oxidized LDL and other inflammatory markers associated with the metabolic syndrome.
Researchers have discovered that blueberry anthocyanins combat cancer development in three distinct ways:
- They inhibit the creation of new blood vessels essential to tumor growth (angiogenesis).19
- They impede the spread of tumor cells to different locations in the body (metastasis).19
- They stimulate cellular maturation, or differentiation, into less injurious or malignant forms.19
Blueberries are one of the few foods that have a meaningfully positive effect on your brain. Foods that do this many good things are rare. Putting everything together it’s a pretty convincing argument to eat blueberries regularly.