How Drinking Tea Can Aid You in Preventing and Controlling Type 2 Diabetes

By KrisTina | Articles

May 30

People have been drinking tea for ages, and in this century it has become the second most popular drink in the world, preceded only by water.

But even though there have already been many health benefits connected to tea, more and more seem to be appearing with each passing day!

And one of the most important ones is that it helps lower the risk of type 2 diabetes, due to its ability to improve insulin sensitivity.

However, researchers have stated that you would be getting the most of these benefits if you drink your tea without anything added to it, especially milk or sugar.

This is coming from a 2002 American study which found that adding milk to tea reduced the insulin-sensitising properties tea naturally offers.

Let Us Number a Few Other Benefits That Regular Tea Drinking Can Offer

  • Maintains your blood pressure’s health
  • Prevents your blood from clotting
  • Reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease
  • Reduces the risk of developing cancer
  • Sharpens your mental health

And we already mentioned it reduces the chances of type 2 diabetes, on which we’ll be concentrating.

It has already been confirmed that those who have diabetes have problems metabolizing sugar. This is where green tea displays its awesomeness: it has the power to sensitize the cells, and that way improves their ability to metabolize sugar.

The key here is the biochemical reaction that occurs. Furthermore, every tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols, which can be found in any plant. They help in the reduction of oxidative stress and cause widening of the arteries (known as vasodilation).

All this leads to the decrease of your blood pressure, lowered cholesterol and prevention of clotting. They are also known to protect you from carcinogens and any inflammation.

On top of all that, they also have the potential to regulate the glucose levels in your body and lowers the risk of heart disease, which is higher in individuals with diabetes. But green tea is especially beneficial for those with diabetes, in that it aids the functioning of the metabolic system.

All this according to Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, cardiologist, director of women’s heart health at Lenox Hill Hospital in NYC.

So, Green or Black?

Drinking any sort of tea would benefit everyone, including diabetics. Those especially high in polyphenols are green tea, black tea, and oolong tea. But in their case, green tea is clearly the champion.

When answering the question of which tea is healthier – green or black – Dr. Steinbaum said there was no competition –Green wins every time. She claimed there are many reasons for that. One is that green tea contains more polyphenols than black.

A golden rule to explain this is that the lighter the tea, the more polyphenols you can count on. Why? Because every tea with bright colors is due to the fruits and vegetables in it. When it comes to black tea, the more orange the hue, the more polyphenols it has.

But it’s not just the color that marks green tea as a winner here.

She further mentioned that another reason why green tea contains higher polyphenol levels, is cause it is ‘truly pure’, since it’s made from unfermented leaves. Black tea can’t boast in the same way since it’s prepared from fully fermented leaves, which rob it of some vital nutrients.

Further proof of why green is better than black, is that some variations of black tea contain as much as three times more caffeine. And anything in excess is no good.

The Diabetes and Metabolism Journal had published a research review in 2013, in which the pros that tea can offer against obesity and diabetes are stated.

It also mentioned a Japanese study which proved that people who drank six cups of green tea daily had their risk of developing type 2 diabetes lowered by 33%.

It also called upon a Taiwanese research which discovered that people who were long-time consumers of this potent drink had lower body fat levels than those who weren’t.

But Let Us Turn Our Attention Away From Tea for the Moment

While drinking tea is clearly a good choice due to its many benefits, it is not the only thing that can help you fight and prevent type 2 diabetes. There are plenty of foods which are pretty highly stocked with those ever-so-useful polyphenols.

The fruits which are the highest on this list are grapes, pomegranates, berries, and apples. The reason is their rich color. But there are also plenty of others, such as garlic, onions, spinach, tomatoes, broccoli, and eggplant.

But let us not forget blackberries, blood oranges, blue berries, cranberries, strawberries, raspberries, rhubarb, limes, kiwis, and lemons. Yes, that sure is a lot. But in this case, the more, the merrier.

Other Types of Drinks As Well

But there are also other types of drinks, such as wine, for example. Dr. Steinbaum claims that the highest concentration of polyphenols is in Bordeaux. Red wine, in general, contains resveratrol, which is a polyphenol in itself.

But there’s also coffee! According to a Dutch study back in 2009, coffee is a decent replacement should you not have any tea around. It turns out drinking 3 cups of coffee (though tea is advisable) can lead to a 40% less chance of type 2 diabetes danger.

And let us not forget cocoa. What is better than to hear you have a good reason to nibble on some dark chocolate from time to time?

There is something for everyone as vegetarians seeking to eat polyphenol-rich foods can enjoy pinto beans, black beans, red beans, walnuts, pistachios, chickpeas as well as any type of nut butter. All of these also contain plenty of protein.

Here Are A Few Other Things You Can Do

We went through the list of food and drinks which help prevent and manage type 2 diabetes, but let’s look at some other factors at play here:

  • Be more active every day
  • Creating a healthy habit of eating veggies each day
  • Try to limit your alcohol intake
  • Quit smoking
  • Eat as little processed foods as possible

When it comes to what you can do to keep something like type 2 diabetes at bay, this is pretty much all you need to do. We wish you plenty of luck and hope you make the right and healthy lifestyle choices.

Only that way can you truly enjoy life and all the beauty it can offer you.

Sources: DiabetesEveryday Health