Do Blackberries Help Lower Blood Sugar?

What you eat can influence your blood sugar levels. High blood sugar can lead to Type 2 diabetes. Blackberries pack a nutritional punch because they contain a number of polyphenols, plant substances that have health benefits, along with fiber and a low-carbohydrate count. While blackberries might help reduce blood sugar levels, they are not a substitute for medication if you have high blood sugar. Do not change your medication regimen without talking to your doctor.

Antioxidants

Blackberries, like many plants, contain substances called antioxidants. Polyphenols such as anthocyanins, substances that give blackberries their deep color, and ellagic acid are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants help maintain health by destroying harmful substances in the body called free radicals. Free radicals can damage cellular DNA and allow the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes. Blackberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which also has antioxidant properties.

Fiber Benefits

Most of the calories in blackberries come from carbohydrates. Fiber, a type of carbohydrate, passes through your intestinal tract undigested. Blackberries, like most plants, contain fiber. Fiber can be either soluble or insoluble. Eating foods high in soluble fiber can help lower your blood sugar by slowing the digestive process. Glucose enters your bloodstream at a slower rate when you eat a diet high in fiber. A slow, steady stream of glucose helps stabilize your blood sugar and prevents the rush of glucose into your bloodstream after a meal. Sharp rises in blood sugar can damage blood vessels and other tissues if you have diabetes.

Fiber Amounts

A 1/2-cup serving of blackberries contains 3.7 grams of fiber, including 1 gram of soluble fiber. Americans need a minimum of 20 grams of fiber per day for women and 30 grams for men, but the average American gets just 15 grams of dietary fiber per day, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.

Studies

A Finnish study published in the April 2010 “British Journal of Nutrition” found that a puree of several types of berries high in polyphenols slowed the absorption of glucose after a meal. Blood sugar levels were lower at 15 and 30 minutes after the meal and higher at 150 minutes, indicating a slower absorption. While the study didn’t include blackberries, the fruit is loaded with this antioxidant.

Reference:

  1. HealthAlternatives 2000:Fruit Chart

Important Notice: This article was originally published at https://healthyeating.sfgate.com by Sharon Perkins where all credits are due.

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