A new study shows that foods rich in polyphenols, like cranberries, can help improve insulin sensitivity in adults with non-diabetic insulin resistance. (Now, for some people, this statement may seem interesting, but it’s probably nothing they’ll get too overly excited about. For me, however, this statement is pure joy, because I am forever searching for natural alternatives to complement the arsenal of medications I currently take for insulin resistance, and I happen to love cranberries!)

Cranberries are packed with polyphenols, which are unique, plant-based compounds with potent antioxidant properties. Polyphenols are known to have a myriad of health benefits, with the latest study adding yet another to their ever-growing list.

The study, which was published recently by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, consisted of a double-blind, controlled trial in which insulin-resistant participants were given fruit-flavored beverages to drink daily. Half of the participants received beverages with 333mg of cranberry polyphenols added, while the other half received beverages with no polyphenols.

After 6 weeks, those who drank beverages with added polyphenols saw improved insulin sensitivity that resulted in diminished insulin resistance. The study’s findings helped reconfirm previous scientific evidence that shows a link between increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, particularly berries, and reduced incidences of type 2 diabetes.

As per the latest study, polyphenols may improve glucose uptake and glucose metabolism by increasing insulin-sensitivity and reducing oxidative stress and cellular inflammation. Cranberry polyphenols’ ability to increase whole-body insulin sensitivity, as seen in the recent study, plays a crucial role in shaping our understanding of how foods can either help or hinder insulin resistance.

In simple terms, insulin resistance occurs when the body produces insulin, yet the body’s cells are unable to use it. Those with insulin resistance often struggle with a host of symptoms and health concerns, including:

--> Being overweight, obese, or having a difficult time losing/maintaining weight

--> Feeling excessively thirsty

--> Constantly feeling hungry, even after eating

--> Struggling to stay awake or feeling tired often

--> “Pins and needles” sensation in the hands or feet

--> Low good cholesterol (HDL) and/or high bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides

--> Irregular menstrual cycles in females

If left untreated, insulin resistance can lead to full blown diabetes II, cardiovascular disease, strokes, pancreatic cancers, and even death.

If you’re looking for the insulin-sensitizing benefits of cranberries, try our Smart for Life® Cranberry Granola Squares. They’re full of cranberries and other healthy ingredients that can help you take control of insulin resistance.

If you’re not a huge fan of cranberries, rest assured. Many other foods are also rich in polyphenols, like blueberries, strawberries, pomegranate, dark chocolate, spinach, asparagus, flaxseeds, and hazelnuts. While polyphenols from some of these foods weren’t used in the latest study regarding insulin resistance, there is still enough evidence to support that all polyphenols may be beneficial for insulin resistance.

So keep eating those spinach salads topped with blueberries and dark chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds – you’re doing a great job!