Two new studies funded by research organization Diabetes UK show that consuming chicory root can induce lower blood glucose response levels in those who are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. Conducted by Professor of Nutrition and Dietetics at Imperial College London Gary Frost, chicory root—which contains inulin and oligofructose—has been found to promote weight loss, reduce fat cells in liver and muscle tissue, and improve insulin secretion for pre-diabetic adults. Chicory is just one root vegetable amongst a host of plant-based foods that have proven to improve blood-sugar levels for diabetics. Senior Dietitian at Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine Karen Smith confirms that a low-fat, fiber-rich, vegan diet can lower blood glucose levels and reverse type 2 diabetes. “Plants play a critical role in optimizing gut flora, and a diet high in fiber—a nutrient found only in plants—is linked to improved gut health and decreased risk of type 2 diabetes,” Smith told VegNews. “I have seen individuals improve their diabetes, lose weight, lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and report increased energy by adopting a low-fat, plant-based diet.” Today, there are 415 million people with diabetes worldwide, and the International Diabetes Federation estimates that the number will jump to 642 million by 2040.