Cranberry boss

Trying to get the upper hand on out-of-control blood sugar? Well new research shows that you might have a new ally in an old holiday favorite.

This study looked at tannins from several different foods–including cranberry, pomegranate, grape, and cocoa. The goal was to see how effectively each of these compounds could bind with alpha-amylase and glucoamylase.

These are two enzymes responsible for breaking down carbohydrates. The idea is that by slowing starch digestion, you can also slow down the resultant spike in blood sugar.

Results showed that cranberry was the most effective inhibitor of both of these enzymes. (Though pomegranate and grape tannins also performed fairly well.)

It’s only a laboratory study. So obviously, there’s no guarantee that cranberry tannins will have the same enzyme-binding effect after human consumption.

That said, previous clinical research does point to cranberry’s potential role in regulating blood sugar. And when it comes to warding off infection–most notably in the urinary tract–you won’t find a more powerful natural solution.

That’s not a green light to binge on cranberries, mind you. (And especially not cranberry juice.) It’s true that they’re generally lower in sugar than other types of fruit. But, well… sugar is sugar.

This study used cranberry extract to achieve the effects I described above. I suggest you do the same.

Sources: “Inhibition of a-Amylase and Glucoamylase by Tannins Extracted from Cocoa, Pomegranates, Cranberries, and Grapes.” J Agric Food Chem. 2013 Feb 20;61