Yum... Good News about Berries, Tea and Chocolate

You may not put berries, tea and chocolate on the top of your list of healthy foods, but new research from England suggests that natural compounds they contain can protect against type 2 diabetes. Wow, does that make me happy! The study from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and King’s College, London found that high intakes of the desirable compounds – flavonoids and anthocyanins – are linked to lower insulin resistance and better blood sugar regulation, which translates to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes. (Insulin resistance is complicated to explain but essentially it is the outcome of consuming too much sugar and too many simple carbohydrates. It occurs when the hormone insulin from the pancreas can no longer push glucose – derived from sugar and carbs – into your liver and muscles because they have become “resistant” to the action of the insulin.) Earlier laboratory studies have shown that anthocyanins and flavonoids might modulate regulation of blood sugar, but this new research is the first to show how regularly eating foods that contain these compounds might affect insulin resistance.

You (Really) Are What You Eat

Nearly 2,000 women between the ages of 18 and 76 participated in the study, which found that flavonoids and anthocyanins also lowered damaging levels of chronic inflammation in the body triggered by environmental toxins, hormone imbalances, emotional stress and excess body fat (especially belly fat) and blood sugar. This type of inflammation is definitely not good for us – it is associated with obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s disease and a long list of other serious health problems.

The women who took part in the study completed a questionnaire designed to estimate their intake of anthocyanins and flavonoids including flavones, found in parsley, thyme, celery and other herbs and vegetables as well as anthocyanins found in berries, red grapes, wine and other red or blue colored fruits and vegetables. Later, the researchers analyzed blood samples from the women to determine glucose regulation and levels of inflammation in their bodies and to see how those results compared with the women’s responses to the questionnaire. The upshot: women who habitually ate foods rich in anthocyanins and flavonoids had lower insulin resistance and were least likely to develop type 2 diabetes. However, the study didn’t determine exactly how much of the compounds are needed to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Eating for Health the Omni Way

On the Omni Diet you get plenty of foods supplying those super-healthy anthocyanins and flavonoids. If I say so myself, on the Omni Diet, you’ll eat exceptionally well. Can’t live without chocolate? Try my recipe for Chocolate Coconut Ice Cream or Chunky Chocolate Monkey Smoothie. I love berries so you’ll find lots of quick and easy smoothies – try my Focus and Energy Smoothie containing raspberries, blackberries and green tea plus other goodies. And check out my book “The Omni Diet” (now available in paperback) for many, many more tempting and tasty recipes.

Stick with me, and I’ll get you past the three-day transition (that’s all!) to a healthy diet that will rev up your energy, help you pare pounds and within two weeks will have you feeling like a new, healthier and happier you. I will hold your hand and give you a step by step plan!

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