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Leafy vegetables could help cut the risk of Type 2 diabetes, research suggests.
Eating greens every day such as broccoli, kale, spinach, sprouts and cabbage can reduce your risk of developing the condition by 14 per cent.
The vegetables are rich in antioxidants and magnesium, which has been linked to lower levels of diabetes.
Experts from the University of Leicester examined six studies and compared people's intake of green leafy vegetables.
They found those who consumed more than one serving a day had a lower risk of diabetes than people who barely ate any.
They concluded that eating certain foods could have a protective effect but studies on vitamin supplements had proved 'disappointing'.
The review failed to find any significant benefit from increasing consumption of vegetables in general, fruit, or fruit and vegetables combined.
Nevertheless, the researchers said other studies have shown 'fruit and vegetables are important components of the dietary patterns associated with a decreased risk of Type 2 diabetes' and they contributed to a lower risk of heart disease.
The current UK recommendation is for people to eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, with one portion weighing 80g.
The latest study included more than 223,000 people and was published online in the British Medical Journal.
The researchers concluded: 'The results support the growing body of evidence that lifestyle modification is an important factor in the prevention of Type 2 diabetes.
'The potential for tailored advice on increasing intake of green leafy vegetables to reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes should be investigated further.'
Dr Iain Frame, director of research at Diabetes UK, said: 'We already know that the health benefits of eating vegetables are far-reaching but this is the first time that there has been a suggested link specifically between green, leafy vegetables and a reduced risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
'However, because of the relatively limited number of studies collated in this analysis, it is too early to isolate green leafy vegetables and present them alone as a method to reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
'Diabetes is a serious condition that can lead to devastating complications such as amputation, heart disease and stroke if untreated.'
There are 2.35 million people diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in the UK. Up to half a million people also have the condition but do not know it.
Diabetes UK is currently funding research into whether fermentable carbohydrates found in foods such as asparagus, garlic, chicory and Jerusalem artichokes could help weight loss and prevent Type 2 diabetes.
It is thought the carbohydrates cause the release of gut hormones which reduce appetite and enhance insulin sensitivity, thereby leading to improved blood glucose control and weight loss.
The research is being led by dietician Nicola Guess at Imperial College, London.
She said: 'By investigating how appetite and blood glucose levels are regulated in people at high risk of Type 2 diabetes, it is hoped that we can find a way to prevent its onset.
'If successful, this study will be able to determine whether fermentable carbohydrates could provide the public with an effective and affordable health intervention to reduce an individual's risk of developing diabetes.'