Are blueberries good for diabetics? Fruits are the perfect option for managing diabetes. Alongside vegetables, the vitamins and minerals you get in fruits can help stabilize and control blood sugar levels. But are all fruit varieties suitable for people with diabetes? Are blueberries a part of diabetes superfoods that help in blood sugar management?
The answer is YES. Blueberries are both safe and good for people with diabetes. In fact, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) tags blueberries as a healthy and nutritious option that are harmless for blood glucose.
Blueberries glycemic index
Knowing the glycemic Index of food helps you understand how safe it is for diabetes management. Each food is ranked from 1 to 100, with the lowest values as the safest to eat. Any food that has a GI score of less than 50 is safe for diabetes. Thankfully enough, blueberries have a GI score of 25. This score is considered low compared to bananas, mangoes, and pineapples.
What are the benefits of eating blueberries?
They help slow down digestion.
One of the nutrients found in blueberries is fiber. A half-cup serving of blueberries contains 2 grams of this nutrient. But how does fiber help with diabetes management?
Fiber slows down the digestion process. This prevents a spike in blood sugar. Since fiber takes longer to get absorbed by the body, it helps control and regulates blood sugar levels. It also explains why most dietitians recommend eating more fiber when you have diabetes.
Blueberries are rich in antioxidants.
Like other types of berries, blueberries are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are natural substances that inhibit oxidation. They defend the body against free radicals that cause inflammation in organs and tissues. One of the antioxidants present in blueberries is anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins are responsible for the deep blue color of blueberries. Aside from reducing inflammations, anthocyanins can protect people from heart disease, cancer, and, most importantly, type 2 diabetes.
Studies suggest that anthocyanins can improve the body’s ability to use insulin, or in other words, become sensitive to the insulin hormone. This results in proper diabetes management and prevents blood sugar spikes.
They help in weight loss.
One of the contributing factors to type 2 diabetes is obesity. Regular exercise is necessary to prevent this. But more than that, eating a healthy balanced diet is of utmost importance.
Blueberries are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. They are a perfect choice for weight loss. Adding them to the daily meal plan can help prevent obesity and improve overall health.
The nutritional profile of blueberries
A 100-grams of blueberries contain the following:
- Calories – 57
- Water – 84%
- Protein – 0.7 grams
- Carbs – 14.5 grams
- Sugar – 10 grams
- Fiber – 2.4 grams
- Fat – 0.3 grams
Vitamins and minerals found in blueberries:
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Antioxidants (anthocyanins, quercetin, myricetin)
Can a diabetic eat blueberries? Yes, certainly. Blueberries are one of the safest fruits that people with or without diabetes can enjoy on a daily basis. Their rich sources of nutrients, vitamins, and minerals make them superfoods and suitable options for managing several health conditions.