Raspberries, soft, fragrant and with an irresistible taste. And from today we also know that these delicious red fruits are a precious source of health, beneficial for combating type 2 diabetes, obesity and chronic inflammation, the evils of our century. This emerges from a recent review that appeared in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health thanks to the work of a Californian team (Derrick et al, Int J Environ Res Public Health., 2021).
Type 2 diabetes, the disease of our century
Type 2 diabetes is the typical diabetes of adulthood, caused by an insufficient response to insulin and / or by too low produced insulin. If not under control, type 2 diabetes can cause damage to tissues and organs, such as the heart, eyes, and kidneys. Cases of type 2 diabetes are estimated to have quadrupled worldwide over the past 30 years. Among the modifiable causes that can lead to the onset of type 2 diabetes we can mention the metabolic syndrome, obesity, fatty liver but also a sedentary lifestyle and an unbalanced diet. But the diet can also be an ally against all these conditions, the important thing is to know how to choose the foods to bring to the table. A varied and balanced diet, which includes whole carbohydrates, legumes but also fruit and vegetables is certainly protective. Among the various fruits that can be beneficial we can include raspberries. The review we are talking about today has collected, analyzed and compared the results of previous studies clearly showing that a serving of raspberries, just over 100 grams, is protective against type 2 diabetes, obesity, heart disease and inflammation, which in the long run increases the risk of diabetes, cellular degeneration, cardiovascular disease and depression. And this applies to both fresh and frozen raspberries! Therefore, we can have a valid ally for health available all year round.
Raspberries are rich in antioxidants, especially anthocyanins, but also vitamins C and K, magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron and fiber. Thanks to this composition, raspberries are beneficial for our health. In fact, they support the intestinal microbiota, reducing the risk of fat accumulation and altered blood sugar. Not only that, scientists believe that raspberries are able to inhibit the absorption of glucose in the intestinal tract. Anthocyanins also help stimulate insulin release and increase HDL good cholesterol values.
How raspberries counteract type 2 diabetes, inflammation and obesity
As for the results of scientific studies, what emerged is that the consumption of a portion of raspberries during a high-fat breakfast reduce blood sugar in people with diagnosed type 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes condition. In people with normal blood sugar, on the other hand, raspberries prevented the collapse of blood sugar a few hours after a meal, keeping blood sugar levels more stable and avoiding hunger attacks. Then, including raspberries in one's diet allowed to improve insulin resistance, even in the presence of a high-fat diet which is instead a risk factor for the onset of insulin resistance. Noteworthy is the fact that regular consumption of raspberries helps to counteract weight gain and the accumulation of fat by stimulating the production of energy from adipose deposits. Raspberries help to counteract the accumulation of fat in the liver, the so-called fatty liver, and to reduce circulating pro-inflammatory substances, such as interleukin 6 and tumor necrosis factor alpha.
Raspberries are delicious fruits that, fresh or frozen, are available all year round. But raspberries aren't just delicious. As we have seen thanks to this review, they can become valuable allies for our health, reducing inflammation and the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, obesity and heart disease.