(NaturalNews) A diet high in green leafy vegetables can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a study conducted by researchers from Leicester University in the United Kingdom, and published in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers analyzed the results of six prior studies that examined the relationship between vegetable intake and diabetes risk in a total of 220,000 adults. While there was no strong connection between general vegetable intake and a lower risk, eating at least a serving and a half of green leafy vegetables every day reduced diabetes risk by 14 percent.
For the purposes of the study, the category of green leafy vegetables also included cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower.
The researchers were unsure why green leafy vegetables in particular appeared to confer such a strong protective benefit. They suggested that it might have to do with those vegetables' high antioxidant content, or their high levels of magnesium.
Iain Frame of Diabetes UK warned that people should not interpret the study to mean they only need to eat green leafy vegetables and can forego other fruits and vegetables.
"We would be concerned if focusing on certain foods detracted from the advice to eat five portions of fruits and vegetables a day, which has benefits in terms of reducing heart disease, stroke, some cancers and obesity as well as type 2 diabetes."
Lead researcher Melanie Davis agreed that it is still important to get five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, but noted that "people like very specific health messages."
"We know that intake of fruit and vegetables is important, but this study suggests that green leafy vegetables seem to be particularly important in terms of preventing diabetes," she said.