Patrice Carter, a research nutritionist at the University of Leicester, and colleagues reviewed six studies involving more than 220,000 people that focused on the links between fruits and vegetables and type 2 diabetes.
They conclude that eating one and one half servings of green leafy vegetables per day reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes by 14%. However, they also found that eating more fruits and vegetables combined doesn't seem to affect this risk.
Fruit and Vegetable Intake
- 86% of adults in the United Kingdom ate less than the recommended five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, according to a 2002 study.
- 62% ate fewer than three servings.
Eat More Vegetables
The authors say that fruits and vegetables can prevent several chronic diseases, likely because of their antioxidant content.
Spinach and other green leafy veggies may reduce type 2 diabetes risk because of their high concentrations of polyphenols and vitamin C, both of which have antioxidant properties. They also contain magnesium, which may further reduce risk.
They conclude that specific, tailored advice needs to be given to people to encourage them to eat more green leafy vegetables.