The anthocyanin-rich nature of strawberries may help improve insulin sensitivity, according to a new study published in the February issue of Molecular Nutrition and Food Nutrition. The finding is important because research has shown prolonged insulin resistance (IR) can lead to Type 2 diabetes.
People with Insulin Resistance Could be Helped by Strawberries
Researchers gave obese adults with insulin resistance a meal high in fat and carbohydrates paired with a beverage that contained freeze-dried whole strawberry powder (equivalent to 3 cups of strawberries) to test the effects of anthocyanins, Subjects who drank the most concentrated versions of the strawberry drink produced less insulin.
Thanks to the strawberry shake, it appeared the body didn’t need much insulin to metabolize their meal. Researchers note that while the exact reason strawberries have this effect remains unclear, it may be that anthocyanins alter insulin signaling at a cellular level.
Strawberries are listed as one of the top ten superfoods to be included in a diabetes meal plan by The American Diabetes Association lists. Low in sugar — but loaded with antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins — strawberries are a highly beneficial berry for both diabetics and non-diabetics.
Experts say eating just eight medium-sized strawberries a day may improve heart health, help manage diabetes, support brain health, and reduce the risk of some cancers.