Do you have diabetes or high blood sugar levels? If you do, the ‘try green tea’ suggestion isn't any new to you. While drinking tea is generally good for our health, you may have doubts about the goodness of green tea for diabetics.
Is it the miracle cure everyone talks about or is it something we blindly believe?
In this article, we answer any questions you may have. For this, we look at the science behind the bioactive compounds that make teas, the beverage-of-all-seasons.
And in case you’re wondering, if your lifestyle has become more sedentary and you think you may be developing diabetes, you’re reading the right thing.
What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a health condition caused by higher than normal glucose levels in the blood.
According to the International Diabetes Federation, over 90 million adults with diabetes currently live in Southeast Asia. A majority of these are in India.
Diabetes is mainly of two types─ Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 diabetes mellitus only accounts for 5-10% of all diabetes cases. Type 1 diabetics cannot usually produce insulin.
Insulin is a hormone necessary for us to use the energy we get from the glucose in our food. People with this type of diabetes need regular insulin injections to store energy from the meals they have.
But, in Type 2 Diabetes, patients build a resistance to insulin or sometimes produce lesser insulin. This, in turn, leads to our bodies not being able to store glucose very well. It also causes glucose levels in the blood to become much higher than normal.
Over time, these increased glucose levels can cause issues with your nerves, eyes, and circulatory system and cause complications.
What Makes Tea? Why Do We Recommend Tea For Diabetics?
Every kind of tea we drink, whether it is white, black, oolong, or green comes from the same plant ─ Camellia sinensis. The only difference is in the processes they undergo before they reach the shelves and our homes.
Green tea, the most often recommended tea for diabetics and the tea believed to be the most nutritious, is the unfermented kind.
The rest undergo various levels of processing and fermentation. White tea is slightly-fermented; oolong undergoes partial fermentation.
The black tea, which we drink the most here in India, is fully fermented. At last is the Dark tea, which undergoes the longest post-fermentation processes.
Despite the processes, all teas are wonderful. Each of them has different substances that make them exceptional for our health.
Scientific studies have shown that besides aiding in weight loss and management of diabetes, tea can also prevent cancer. Furthermore, drinking tea can protect our liver from damage and improve intestinal function.
The many advantages of tea come from several bioactive compounds. These compounds, which include polyphenols, flavanols, theaflavins, and thearubigins, can decrease the risk of diabetes.
Out of these, polyphenols, especially a type called catechins, are the most beneficial. Catechins are antioxidants, so they fight with the reactive oxygen species (ROS) and free radicals in our body. ROS are tiny unbound damage molecules that hamper our bodies if left unattended.
Does Drinking Tea For Diabetics With Type 1 Have Any Effect?
Studies in people with Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus have shown green tea does have advantages. Green tea for diabetics with Type 1 works by protecting the pancreatic β-cells that produce insulin.
Epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), a bioactive compound abundant in green tea, protects β-cells in two ways. First, it tackles the Reactive Oxygen Species, which wreak havoc inside our bodies. Second, it down-regulates the production of nitric oxide synthase and inflammatory factors.
What Does Science Say With Regards To Type 2 Diabetes?
There are hundreds of scientific studies about the advantages of drinking tea for diabetics.
Over the years, several reviews and meta-analyses, which look at data from multiple studies, have been conducted and published.
The majority of them conclude that tea is beneficial in prevention and treatment. Tea leads to an increase in blood insulin levels and a decrease in the risk of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.
The mechanisms for how tea benefits Type 2 diabetics are different from Type 1. Several components of green teas can activate improving pathways in our bodies.
EGCG, for instance, can lead to decreasing insulin resistance in diabetics. It can also reduce the TNF-α levels in our bodies while leading to increased production of antioxidant enzymes.
In layman terms, TNF- α is one of the many chemicals produced when our immune system is activated and causes cell death.
Another important component found in green tea is called the 7WA. It can increase our body's sensitivity to glucose, leading to higher insulin production.
All of this reduces the risk of diabetes-dependent complications of the heart, kidney, or eye.
The advantages of drinking tea don’t end here. Green tea reduces arterial stiffness in diabetes patients. Moreover, drinking tea can also fasten the wound healing times, which get reduced due to Type 2 diabetes.
Over the years, these multitudes of benefits have piqued the curiosity of many. Recently, clinical trials have begun to see if green tea and tea extracts can work as therapy options.
Green tea is being considered due to its almost-zero side effects in comparison to the other prescribed drugs.
The Tea For Diabetics That We Recommend!
Committed to making you the healthiest version of yourself, we at Healthy & Hygiene have a variety of tea for diabetics options that you would enjoy
- Weight Loss Green Tea | Slim & Detox Green Tea
This great combination of oolong tea and green tea is our number one choice whether you are considering weight loss or are diabetic.
Our Weight Loss Green Tea also has an assortment of other herbs, including mint, cinnamon, ginger, and jasmine to give you the healthiest combination.
Buying this so you can let your body fight toxins, inflammation, and oxygen radicals with this one! Your body will always be happy you decided to buy it!
- Darjeeling Green Tea | Second Flush Green Tea
This green tea, harvested during the merry months of May and June has an even more heavenly color and aroma than your usual green tea. This authentic Darjeeling green tea for diabetics is for those who love green tea in its purest form.
It is also a must-have for those who don’t fancy multi-component preparations. If you’re looking for a tea whose aroma you could dive into while it works its magic on your diabetes, this one's for you!
- Jasmine Green Tea
This green tea, infused with the goodness of jasmine, lavender, and marigold has a flavor that goes on for miles. If you’re getting this, you can relax in the aromas while the antioxidants from the Assamese Japanese green tea do the fighting!
And the best part about buying Healthy & Hygiene products? Our products are extremely affordable and they come in a variety of packaging. So, you can buy the one that works the best for you!
Caution! Tea And Diabetes don’t ALWAYS Go Hand In Hand
While green tea for diabetics has many more advantages than potential risks, there are a few things you need to keep in mind:
- Don't drink green tea with sugar. This sounds obvious, but sweetened beverages will do more harm than good if you're a diabetic.
- Tea is healthier without milk, whichever kind it is. Why? Several reasons, but let’s not go into that here!
- Make sure green tea doesn't interfere with your diabetic medication. Again, very obvious but there’s no harm in asking your doctor beforehand.
- Take tea in moderation. Yes, some studies show anywhere between 3 to 7 cups are good. But, if you think drinking copious amounts of green tea will end your diabetes, you’re mistaken. Green tea is not a substitute for medication.
- Please see that you are not allergic to any of the components before you buy. Ingredients of all our products are listed on their web pages. This is something you need to take care of, especially if you're buying one of our multi-component preparations.
Diabetes - be it Type 1 or Type 2 is due to insulin imbalance that can be taken care of with tea of the right kind.
Green tea is one kind that’s full of catechins and therefore has more resources to help fight in your battle against Diabetes.
And when you take care of a couple details like sugar and your medication, green tea for diabetics is a match made in heaven.
We wish you happy tea times and may your diabetes be in control!
Don’t forget to share this article with your friends who are struggling with Diabetes or are simply tea lovers!