If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, two apples will keep diabetes at bay. Food poetry aside, new research from the Harvard School of Public Health found that people who ate at least two servings of whole fruit—particularly blueberries, grapes, and the trusty apple—per week reduced their risk of type-2 diabetes by as much as 23% compared to those who ate just one serving a month. Conversely, drinking your fruits actually increased type-2 diabetes risk by as much as 21%. (Swapping three servings of fruit juice a week for whole fruits decreased risk by 7%.)
Although we've seen studies extolling the benefits of fruit for years, this is the first one to look at the effects of individual fruits on diabetes risk. The researchers say more work needs to be done to pinpoint exactly what component(s) of the beneficial fruits are influencing the lowered risk. In the meantime, check out our roundup of the 8 Best Fruits for Better Health and 20 Fittest Foods, which include the three fruits singled out by the study:
- Apples: One medium-sized apple is packed with 4g of soluble fiber—17% of the Daily Value (DV), or the amount you need each day for colon health and controlling blood sugar levels.
- Grapes: Research has shown that consuming high-glycemic foods (like grapes) after workouts produces a greater amount of glycogen, replenishing what you’ve depleted after a hard workout.
- Blueberries: This superfood harnesses the firepower to knock out cancer with its free-radical-fighting antioxidants and is packed with more fiber, vitamins, and minerals per ounce than any other fruit in the produce aisle.