The forbidden way to beat diabetes

We're about 10 days away from the official start of autumn -- which means that you'll soon be swapping short sleeves for sweaters and flip-flops for boots.

And as the bounty at the farmers market turns from peaches to pumpkins... and cherries to apples... it's time to say goodbye to those special summer flavors.

But even as the days grow shorter and cooler, there's one summer fruit you want to keep in your fruit bowl -- especially if you've got diabetes or are headed that direction.

I'm talking about berries.

Now, I know that’s not what you may have heard. If you’re struggling to control your blood glucose, they’ll say that you should avoid anything high in natural sugars.

But according to the latest research, the fructose you’ll find in strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries won’t send your blood sugar soaring.

These berries can actually help keep your blood sugar in check!

Researchers reviewed nearly 20 studies on the health benefits of anthocyanins – the compounds that give berries their vibrant colors -- and found that they can significantly reduce insulin resistance.

As you know, being resistant to the natural blood sugar-lowering powers of insulin is a major risk factor for diabetes.

What's more, the meta-analysis also found that the anthocyanins found in berries can significantly reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol.

And since both diabetes and elevated LDL cholesterol are risk factors for heart disease, that means that berries can buffer your heart health with a one-two punch.

Plus, the benefits of berries don't stop there. These little "super" fruits have been proven to do everything from beat back cancer to balance your gut and even improve your cognitive function.

Now, in the studies analyzed, the participants consumed anthocyanins in supplement form -- and you can certainly find a variety of anthocyanin-loaded berry extracts at your local health food store or online.

But when you bite into a fresh berry, you're getting not only a bundle of anthocyanins, but also all the fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients of the whole fruit.

Even though berries are at their sweetest and juiciest in summer, you can find them in most grocery stores pretty much year-round. Just be sure to buy organic, as eating pesticide-laden produce can do more harm than good.

Or try freezing your farmers market haul now, while they’re fresh and local.

Later today, I’ll have more on what one particular berry can do to boost your brain. Keep an eye out!