Two fruits shown to reduce blood sugar spikes and ward off diabetes

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Diabetes continues to pose a significant burden on health bodies across the globe. With obesity trends on course to worsen, there is no end in sight for the battle against the life-long condition. Certain plant-based foods, however, may go a long way to mitigate the risk of the disease. Researchers have consistently flagged citrus fruits, berries and apples for their unparalleled effects on blood sugar and insulin sensitivity.

The findings of a 2020 study published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) suggested that even a small apple a day would suffice to ward off diabetes.

Harvard Health reported that “people with the highest intake of fruits and vegetables and the highest blood levels of the plant-derived nutrients were 25 percent to 50 percent less likely to get diabetes during the study period”, compared to those who ate the least of these foods group has the lowest nutrient levels.

It added: “Even better, it didn’t take a whole lot of extra green, red, yellow, and orange on the plate to make a dent in diabetes risk.

“The equivalent of only two-thirds of a medium apple or just over one-third of a cup of mixed fruit each day offered production.”

Some 340,000 people from eight European countries were involved in the study.

This included 9,754 who were newly diagnosed with diabetes over a decade.

Researchers compared the fruit and vegetable intakes of these people to 13,000 otherwise healthy controls.

The research also looked at the participants’ blood levels of several different plant-derived nutrients.


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Apples are particularly healthy because they contain a wide range of nutrients which can slow down carbohydrate digestion.

The compounds, which include quercetin, chlorogenic acid and gallic acid, can also help reduce blood sugar.

By slowing down digestion, the amount of carbs that get absorbed in the intestine is also decreased.

In other words, it helps slow down the amount of sugar entering the bloodstream to keep blood sugars steady and prevent blood sugar spikes.

In 2019, a body of research published in the journal Nutrients discovered that apples consumed 30 minutes before a brown rice meal significantly reduced post-meal blood sugar.

A similar randomised controlled trial, published in the journal Obesity in 2019, found that pairing frozen berries with a meal significantly reduced post-meal blood sugar spikes.

The authors noted: “Commonly consumed berries, especially cranberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries ameliorate postprandial hyperglycaemia and hyperinsulinemia in overweight or obese adults with insulin resistance.”

In fact, numerous studies have linked the intake of berries to better blood sugar control, which is unsurprising given their nutritional profile.

Berries, too, are rich in fibre, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them ideal for managing blood sugar.

Increased activities and levels of antioxidants usually reduce diabetes complications by giving electrons to free radicals.

Despite the beneficial effects of these fruits on the prevention of diabetes, they should always be consumed as part of a healthy and balanced diet.

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