November is Diabetes Awareness Month, where you can enjoy the great taste of winter cooking by adding in a healthy helping of blueberries.
The American Diabetes Association lists blueberries as a diabetes superfood and says berries can be a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth, while providing an added benefit of vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, potassium and fiber.
A healthy, well-balanced diet is beneficial for everyone, especially those managing diabetes. It is important to take notice of what we consume and what reactions these food products cause in our bodies. Maintaining a balanced, active lifestyle with a focus on healthy eating, including lots of fruits and vegetables, can help manage diabetes.
Maria Masters, health food writer, writes “berries are packed with antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber — plus, they're low-GI. Three quarters of a cup of fresh blueberries has 62 calories and 16 grams (g) of carbohydrates”. Consuming low GI foods causes a lower rise in blood glucose levels than consuming high GI foods — an important consideration for people with diabetes.
“My go-to fruits are definitely blueberries, due to their high fibre and lower carb count compared with other fruits”, says Lisa Pountney, who has Type 1 diabetes. “BC Blueberries are my favourite, I like to buy them frozen and have them with plain Greek yogurt, with crumbled walnuts on top – delicious”!
Want more science-y facts?
Recent Research on the Health Benefits of Blueberries and Their Anthocyanins by Kalt et al. (2019) indicates that individual quick freezing is a widely used means to preserve blueberries, to retain vitamin C, total phenolics, anthocyanins, and antioxidant capacity. As it relates to diabetes, it’s the anthocyanins (the pigments that make blueberries blue) that play a starring role.
An increasing body of evidence suggests that blueberries and anthocyanins reduce biomarkers and risk of diseases including type 2 diabetes. In these observational analyses, anthocyanins often provide benefits over and above other plant food phytochemicals. Anthocyanins possess antidiabetic, anticancer, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anti-obesity effects, as well as prevention of cardiovascular diseases.
The intake of even moderate amounts of blueberries (approximately one-third cup) and anthocyanins (<50 mg) daily is associated with disease risk reduction.
It’s Easy to Go Blue
Including blueberries into your winter cooking is easier than you would think, because frozen blueberries are found in the freezer section at all major retail outlets across Canada. Frozen blueberries are convenient, additive-free, and packed with the same nutrients as the fresh ones.
When you can find a healthy option as tasty as BC Blueberries you need to go for it - so go blue in the quest to #EndDiabetes.
About The BC Blueberry Council
The BC Blueberry Council was formed in 1989 and represents more than 600 highbush growers who produce delicious, reliable and environmentally friendly blueberries.
British Columbia is one of the top 10 blueberry growing regions in the world, with plantings of premium quality highbush blueberries covering more than 30,000 hectares.
BC blueberries are versatile and fresh, both hand-picked and machine harvested from July through September, and then frozen as well, to be available for berry lovers year-round.
Leeann Froese, Town Hall Brands, PR for the BC Blueberry Council
Phone: 604-321-3295 | 604-603-9394