Due to the fact that many of us adopt unhealthy lifestyles, including sugar-full diets and lack of physical activity, diabetes is one of the most common diseases in the world and is considered one of the leading causes of death in the U.S. While the secret to eternal youth is still a mystery, the solution seems closer than ever, embodied in a drink that we all consume from time to time: Green tea.
Drinking green tea regularly is an ancient custom that most of us have embraced lovingly, and it is possible that part of its success stems from its known medicinal properties such as fat burning, preventing wrinkles and even delaying the development of cancer cells, and it has also been proven effective in controlling and even preventing diabetes. Start and finish each day with green tea, and enjoy the many health benefits it has to offer...
“We know people with diabetes have problems metabolizing sugar,” says Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist and director of Women's Heart Health at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York. “Insulin comes along to decrease sugar, but with type 2 diabetes, the body isn’t so sensitive to insulin, so blood sugar levels go up,” she says, adding that green tea has the ability to help cells in the body digest sugar through a complex biochemical reaction.
A study published in the journal "Diabetes and Metabolism" presented the main advantages of drinking green tea when it comes to diabetes as well as obesity, which is a risk factor for the development of the disease. This study was based on a previous study conducted in Japan that found that people who drank 6 cups of green tea a day reduced their chances of developing type 2 diabetes by 33 percent compared to people who drank less than one cup of green tea a week. In addition, a study in Taiwan found that people who regularly drank green tea for more than a decade had a lower body fat composition than those who were not regular drinkers.
Drinking tea for diabetics is an excellent idea thanks to the antioxidants found in the polyphenols it contains. “Polyphenols help reduce oxidative stress and cause widening of the arteries, which decreases blood pressure, prevents clotting, and reduces cholesterol,” Dr. Steinbaum says, adding that these factors are elevated in diabetes patients. It is also important to take care of them, and the antioxidants found in green tea can help regulate glucose levels in the body, which helps control the disease and even prevent it.
Dr. Steinbaum says that any type of tea has health benefits that can help to balance diabetes symptoms and even prevent it, but green tea is the undisputed winner in this area. “For one, when you drink green tea for diabetes, you will get a higher level of polyphenols than you would get in black,” she explains. Polyphenols are what give fruits and vegetables their bright color, so the green color of the tea indicates that it is richer in these antioxidants. Keep in mind that the more orange your black tea is, the more polyphenols it contains.
Apart from its green color, which indicates a higher amount of antioxidants, the preparation of green tea from non-fermented leaves indicates the purity of the process that maintains the number of polyphenols. Black tea, on the other hand, is made from leaves that are completely fermented, which inevitably steals quite a few nutrients. Furthermore, black tea usually contains two to three times more caffeine than green tea.
After listing the health benefits of tea, it is important that you recognize some polyphenol-rich foods which can help you deal with type 2 diabetes. This list includes berries, grapes, apples, pomegranates, broccoli, onions, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, cranberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, lemons, kiwi, dark chocolate, red and black beans, pistachios, walnuts and chickpeas - a variety of foods that most of us enjoy eating anyway.