1. Berries Are Overall the Best Fruit Choice For Diabetics
Berries have fewer carbs and higher fiber than almost all other fruits which make them one of the best diabetic food choices. These colorful delectable morsels are packed with nutrients such as manganese and vitamin K. They have an exceptionally high concentration of antioxidants. Blueberries, blackberries, and other berries contain a high level of the antioxidant pterostilbene which has been shown to lower blood sugar levels in a way similar to metformin, one of the most popular diabetes medications. Berries are also heart healthy, anti-inflammatory, and are known to slow down the aging process.
2. Wild Berries Have More Fiber and Are Lower In Net Carbs
Wild berries contain more fiber and are significantly lower in net carbs than their commercially grown counterparts. So, wild berries are an even better diabetic food choice than the berries you buy at the grocery store. Commercial berry cultivators actually select for higher sugar content, and in doing so, they genetically zap some of the fiber out of the berry. You can freeze fresh wild berries and they will retain their fiber and nutrients. However, cooking, canning, and jamming them will significantly lower the valuable antioxidants and fiber.
3. Hunters & Gatherers Got More Exercise
Modern Americans get far less exercise than our ancestors that had to work hard for their food. Our ancestors didn't have to go to the gym because their day to day activities provided all the exercise they needed to stay healthy. While I enjoy the modern conveniences, I know we pay dearly for them in terms of our overall health. Diabetics can certainly benefit from increasing their daily activity level. I am a strong advocate for finding fun and interesting ways to do this. So, I encourage you to go out and enjoy the pre-historic foraging exercise of berry picking.
4. Berry Picking Lowers Stress
Mother Nature has a wonderful way of nurturing us all and one of the best ways to reduce stress is to get outside and connect with the natural world. Every time I go berry picking, I come back feeling rejuvenated. I notice that my berry picking companions have smiles on their faces and are full of laughter. It's just a really fun thing to do. Researchers are becoming increasingly aware that stress is one of the primary factors that causes diabetes and exacerbates the disease. You can literally lower your blood sugar just by reducing stress. Finding ways to lower stress is therefore extremely important for those of us interested in reversing diabetes via natural means.
5. Quality Time With Friends & Family
The day to day management of diabetes combined with concerns about common health complications brings on bouts of depression in many diabetics. One of the best natural remedies for this is connecting in a meaningful way with those we care most about - our friends and family. Berry picking is an activity that can be easily shared with everyone from toddlers to seniors. It's also a great bonding experience.
6. Wild Berries Increase the Variety in Diabetic Food Choices
There are many edible berries that are not available in the grocery stores. The main reason for this is limited shelf life. For example, the wild thimbleberry, a member of the raspberry family, is highly prized by berry pickers for its superior taste but they are much too fragile to be commercially packed without damaging them. Diabetics frustrated with their food choices being limited may take great pleasure in exploring the exotic flavors and textures of wild berries. There are many varieties and species of wild blueberries, wild raspberries, and wild blackberries. Other wild edible berries include thimbleberries (aka salmonberries), crowberries, bearberries, salal berries, serviceberries (aka juneberries), chokecherries, dewberries, huckleberries, currents, elderberries, gooseberries, mullberries, and bilberries (a berry found in Europe closely related to blueberries).