Research published today in the British Medical Journal claims eating more green leafy vegetables can significantly reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
The authors, led by Patrice Carter at the University of Leicester, reviewed six studies, involving over 220,000 people, that focused on the links between fruit and vegetable consumption and Type 2 diabetes.
They found that eating one and a half extra servings of green leafy vegetables a day reduces the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 14 per cent.
Link between green leafy vegetables and diabetes
"We already know that the health benefits of eating vegetables are far-reaching, but this is the first time that there has been a suggested link specifically between green, leafy vegetables and a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes," said Dr Iain Frame, Director of Research at Diabetes UK. "However, because of the relatively limited number of studies collated in this analysis it is too early to isolate green leafy vegetables and present them alone as a method to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes."
He continued: "Diabetes UK would be concerned if focusing on certain foods detracted from the advice to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day, which has benefits in terms of reducing heart disease, stroke, some cancers and obesity as well as Type 2 diabetes. Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to devastating complications such as amputation, heart disease and stroke if untreated."
The researchers say there is a need for further investigation into the potential benefits of green leafy vegetables.