Here’s another good reason to eat plenty of fresh fruit. A new investigation from the Harvard School of Public Health shows that eating lots of blueberries and apples appears to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes. Researchers examined the diets of some 200,000 men and women who were enrolled in three ongoing studies of American health professionals and found that those who reported eating the most blueberries and apples tended to have a low risk of type 2 diabetes. In fact, study participants who ate two or more servings of blueberries per week had a 23 percent lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes than those who ate no blueberries. The same appeared true for people who ate five or more apples a week compared to those who didn't report eating apples. The researchers suggested that the flavonoids in the fruits might have made the difference. Because the examination of peripheral information provided by participants is just an interpretation of data, and not an actual study of an intervention, the findings suggest - but don't prove - that eating blueberries and apples can help prevent diabetes. The report was published on February 22, 2012 in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
My take? We already know that blueberries pack a powerful antioxidant punch and that they may help prevent cancer, urinary tract infections, heart disease and damage from heart disease. Organically grown apples (avoid those grown with pesticides or treated with fungicides and wax) have been shown to reduce the risk of colon, liver, prostate and lung cancer, chronic cough and other respiratory symptoms, asthma and heart disease. The findings from this new investigation add to the growing body of evidence that eating lots of whole fresh fruits is one of the best things you can do for your health.