Good nutrition is important for maintaining overall health and well-being. A healthy eating plan, combined with physical activity, can help you maintain a healthy weight, prevent or reduce your risk of chronic conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer, etc. For people with diabetes, eating a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and healthful proteins can help control blood sugar levels, body weight, and prevent complications.
In fact, a study published in the journal Diabetologia suggested that a healthy lifestyle such as keeping physically active and maintaining a healthy weight, not smoking, avoiding alcohol, can reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 75 per cent. Researchers also found that adults with diabetes who had a healthy lifestyle were significantly less likely to develop cardiovascular disease or die of any cause than those with the condition who adopted unhealthy lifestyles. Research has also found that increasing the intake of a certain type of vegetable can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The research published online in the British Medical Journal said that consuming more green leafy vegetables can significantly reduce an individual’s chances of developing type 2 diabetes.
Leafy greens are packed full of essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that protect your health and have a minimal impact on your blood sugar levels. It has been shown that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is known to help prevent or reduce both heart disease and cancer.
It is claimed that green leafy vegetables may help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes due to their high content of antioxidants such as magnesium. Green vegetables such as spinach, kale, broccoli, collard greens, are also a key plant-based source of vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium and calcium. For example, one study reported that increasing vitamin C consumption reduced inflammatory markers and fasting blood sugar levels in people with type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure. Green leafy veggies are also an excellent source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin, which can protect your eyes from macular degeneration and cataracts – common complications of diabetes.
In the study, published in the BMJ, the researchers found that consuming one and a half extra servings of green leafy vegetables a day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14 per cent. However, they also observed that eating more fruit and vegetables combined does not significantly affect this risk. The authors, led by Patrice Carter at the University of Leicester, also noted that more research is needed to investigate the potential benefits of green leafy vegetables.