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Berries Counteract Starchy Foods

Posted May 16 2013 10:09pm

White wheat bread contains starches that can induce post-consumption spikes in glucose and insulin responses.  For rye bread, the glucose response is similar, whereas the insulin response is lower.   A number of previous studies suggest that polyphenol-rich berries may reduce digestion and absorption of starch and thereby suppress postprandial glycemia.  Riitta Torronen, from the University of Eastern Finland (Finland), and colleagues enrolled a 13 to 20 healthy women to participate in three randomized, controlled, crossover, two-hour long meal studies.  Subjects consumed white wheat or rye bread, both equal to 50 g available starch, with 150 g whole-berry purée or the same amount of bread without berries as reference. In study 1, white bread was served with strawberries, bilberries, or lingonberries and in study 2 with raspberries, cloudberries, or chokeberries. In study 3, white wheat or rye bread was served with a mixture of berries consisting of equal amounts of strawberries, bilberries, cranberries, and blackcurrants.  The researchers observed that strawberries, bilberries, lingonberries, and chokeberries consumed with white wheat bread, and the berry mixture consumed with white wheat or rye bread, significantly reduced the postprandial insulin response. Only strawberries (36%) and the berry mixture (with white bread, 38%; with rye bread, 19%) significantly improved the glycemic profile of the breads. Submitting that: “These results suggest than when [white wheat bread] is consumed with berries, less insulin is needed for maintenance of normal or slightly improved postprandial glucose metabolism,” the study authors report that: “The lower insulin response to [rye bread] compared with [white wheat bread] can also be further reduced by berries.”

Riitta Torronen, Marjukka Kolehmainen, Essi Sarkkinen, Kaisa Poutanen, Hannu Mykkanen, Leo Niskanen. “Berries Reduce Postprandial Insulin Responses to Wheat and Rye Breads in Healthy Women.”  J. Nutr. April 2013; 143: 430-436.

  
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Tip #162 - Halt High Blood Pressure
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine (Tennessee, USA) researchers report that an increased intake in minerals such as potassium, magnesium and calcium by dietary means may reduce the risk of high blood pressure and decrease blood pressure in people with hypertension. A high intake of these minerals in the diet may also reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. According to the study, if Americans were able to increase their potassium intake, the number of adults with known hypertension with blood pressure levels higher than 140/90 mm Hg might decrease by more than 10% and increase life expectancy. Similar studies show that diets high in magnesium (at least 500 to 1,000 mg/d) and calcium (more than 800 mg/d) may also be associated with both a decrease in blood pressure and risk of developing hypertension.

To boost your dietary intake of potassium, magnesium, and calcium, try these foods:

• Vegetables: broccoli, bok choy, spinach, beet greens, turnip greens, okra, artichoke, potatoes, carrot juice, and sweet potatoes

• Legumes: black beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, great northern beans, lentils, navy beans and soybeans

• Dairy: cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese, sour cream, and yogurt

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