Berries are an important component of a healthy diet, being rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and polyphenols.
In a recent study from the University of Eastern Finland, researchers found that blackcurrants have a beneficial effect on post-meal blood sugar response.
The effect is likely linked to berry-derived polyphenolic compounds, anthocyanins, which are rich in blackcurrants.
The study is published in the British Journal of Nutrition. One author is Jenni Lappi.
Previous studies have monitored the effects of berries on blood sugar, with dark berries, such as blackcurrant and bilberry, having the most convincing results.
Blackcurrants are often consumed with added sugar because of their natural sourness, which may be a cause of concern for health-conscious consumers.
In the study, the team tested 26 healthy people who consumed three different test products and sugar water as a control product at four separate study visits.
The test products were a blackcurrant purée with added sugar, a blackcurrant product containing fermented quinoa, and a blackcurrant product base without blackcurrants.
Each of them contained 31 g of available carbohydrates and had a similar composition of sugar components.
The team found that compared to sugar water, both blackcurrant products had reduced maximum glucose and insulin, delayed fall of glucose, and delayed rise of free fatty acids because of hypoglycemia.
The results support earlier findings on the beneficial effects of blackcurrant on blood glucose response after a meal, showing the effect with smaller portion size.
The researchers say that over a longer period of time, smaller variations in the blood glucose and insulin levels, and improved insulin sensitivity, may decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes.