It's not easy eating greens…or so you might think from dietary surveys, which consistently show that Americans don't eat enough green leafy vegetables, let alone fruits and vegetables in general.
This is from Consumer reports.
But there's good reason to be keen on greens, as they are excellent sources of vitamin C and other antioxidants that have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, cancer, and other illnesses. And many people also think they taste pretty great.
The main purpose of this review was to look at how fruit and vegetable intake in general might affect the risk of diabetes. After conducting an extensive search for studies, the researchers pooled the results of six trials that met their criteria for design and quality. Somewhat surprisingly, they found only a slightly lower risk of type 2 diabetes among people who ate high amounts of fruits or vegetables, compared with those who ate much less. This drop in risk was small enough that it could have been due to chance.
However, four of these studies also looked specifically at how many servings of green leafy vegetables people ate. When the researchers pooled this data, they found a 14 percent lower risk of diabetes among those who ate the most servings a week, compared with those who ate the least.
We need more studies to confirm these findings, as the review looked at a relatively small number of studies. The trials also varied a lot in how they were conducted, which increases the risk of error when pooling their results.
However, in support of these findings, the researchers point out that besides being rich in antioxidants, these vegetables also contain high amounts of magnesium. Other studies have suggested that this mineral may help protect against type 2 diabetes.
What you need to know. Green leafy vegetables are an excellent source of antioxidants and other nutrients, and may play a role in preventing some illnesses, including diabetes. If you'd like to add more leafy greens to your cuisine, you have plenty of fresh options this time of year, including spinach, cabbage, lettuce, and even artichokes.
—Sophie Ramsey, patient editor, BMJ Group
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