A simple, healthy diet `can prevent diabetes, heart disease`

London: Want to stave off diabetes and heart disease? All you need to do is to have regularly a simple and healthy diet containing foods rich in antioxidants like kale, apples, berries and broccoli, says a new study.

Researchers have found that people who consume a diet rich in powerful antioxidants not only cut their risk of developing heart disease, but also reduce their cholesterol levels and even get blood sugar levels under control.

According to them, the antioxidants called flavonoids work by fighting harmful molecules accumulating in the body which causes damage to healthy cells, the `Daily Express` newspaper reported.

The study is based on a year`s trial carried out by the researchers at the University of East Anglia.

The researchers analysed 93 postmenopausal women with Type 2 diabetes from the age of 51 to 74. Half were given two small bars of flavonoid-enriched chocolate each day and half were given placebo chocolate bars.

Those receiving extra flavonoids reduced the risk of a heart attack by 3.4 per cent. Their insulin resistance and cholesterol levels were significantly reduced by the flavonoids, the `Diabetes Care` journal reported.

The findings clearly revealed that diets high in these flavonoids can reduce heart disease risk for women with Type 2 diabetes, and regularly eating flavonoid-rich foods can also
help in the management of blood sugar levels, say researchers.

Prof Aedin Cassidy of Norwich Medical School said: "These results are significant because they provide further concrete evidence that diet has a beneficial clinical effect over and above conventional drug treatment."

However, further research is needed to examine if similar effects are seen in men with Type 2 diabetes, according to the researchers.


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