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There are a lot of drinks out there that can raise your blood sugar — soda, fruit juice, energy drinks, diet drinks and, of course, anything alcoholic. So what can you drink without sending your blood sugar soaring and aggravating or increasing your risk of type 2 diabetes?
Well, there’s always water. But that gets boring after a while. Luckily, there is a more interesting option….
It’s a drink that could help you lose weight and balance your blood sugar. In fact, it may be the one-two punch you need to finally knock your blood sugar into submission.
But you should know, it’s a little unusual. You won’t find it at a local quick mart, but you may find it at your local health food store. It’s non-alcoholic berry wine.
The anti-diabetes drink
Researchers from the University of Illinois gave non-alcoholic berry wine to obese, diabetic mice and it managed their diabetes more effectively than the prescription diabetes medication sitagliptin (also known as Januvia).
The wine was made from 70 percent fermented blackberries and 30 percent fermented blueberries. The alcohol was removed through a process called rotoevaporation, where it’s evaporated and replaced with water.
According to researchers, this drink can make a mark on diabetes because it contains anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid found in berries and other fruits. Anthocyanins have been shown to lower blood sugar, make your body more responsive to insulin and increase insulin production — and these things are a godsend when you’re dealing with diabetes.
Why bother with berry wine?
You may be wondering why researchers gave the mice berry wine rather than just berry juice. After all, berry juice contains anthocyanins too. So why put themselves through the extra hassle of removing the alcohol?
Well, the answer is simple: fermentation. Wine is fermented and juice isn’t. Fermentation adds to the health benefits of the beverage, greatly. More specifically, fermentation increases the concentration of those anthocyanins I was telling you about.
Fermentation has of course been used traditionally for thousands of years, and not only for alcoholic beverages. Fermentation preserved food. Miso, kimchi, kombucha and natto are just a few fermented foods and drinks that carry both anecdotal and well-researched health benefits.
As research expanded into the benefits of these foods, fermentation entered the food sciences in a big way. The food industry, healthy food industry and even pharmaceutical companies use fermentation processes to obtain the most valuable compounds for many plant-based products.
Fermentation is one reason powdered foods supplements can be so high in nutritional value. However, not all powdered greens or fruit mixes contain fermented foods, so be sure to check your labels.
Then, if you can find it, grab a glass and toast to better blood sugar and a healthy future. If you can’t find a suitable non-alcoholic berry wine in a store near you, try a berry-flavored kombucha, or a fermented fruit powder mix.
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- Berry wine, minus the alcohol, may offer help for those with diabetes– University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES)