Is Green Tea Helpful in Diabetes?
According to Medline Plus, green tea may offer several benefits which include lowering your risk for high cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease, and cancer. Preliminary studies also show that green tea may also reduce the risk of developing diabetes and some of the complications associated with this debilitating condition. Although people suffering from diabetes can safely drink green tea, they should also monitor their blood sugar carefully because of its potential blood glucose lowering effect.
Why is Green Tea Highly Beneficial for Diabetics?
- Green tea is rich in EGCG catechins
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) catechins help increase fat oxidation and have proven to be highly effective in burning body fat. Excess fat in the body is a major problem that might lead to diabetes and EGCG catechins help protect vascular muscle cells from high glucose levels. Moreover, EGCG catechins help prevent Type 1 Diabetes by improving glucose tolerance and changing lipids and glucose metabolism in the body.
EGCG catechins also help prevent Type 2 Diabetes by inhibiting digestive enzymes which reduces the production of glucose from carbohydrates.
- It stimulates the production of insulin
Recent studies show that green tea stimulates the production of insulin in the body which controls your blood sugar levels and transforms nutrients into energy. Green tea also maximizes the functions of the pancreas which is responsible for producing insulin. It also protects the pancreatic beta cells from damage.
- It prevents obesity
Green tea lowers your triglyceride and fatty acid levels hence preventing obesity and the complications associated with obesity. Moreover, EGCG catechins also help reduce your appetite and boost the metabolism cycle. Recent studies show that drinking 2 to 4 cups of green tea spread throughout the day can help you burn up to 80 calories per day hence increasing your metabolism and endurance even while working out. Green tea also stimulates the nervous system that stimulates the fat burning process
- It can protect you from hyperglycemia
If left untreated, hyperglycemia can lead to oxidative stress which can cause serious complications such as diabetic retinopathy or even blindness. A recent study conducted by Brazilian researchers seeking to explore the benefits of green tea in diabetic rats shows that green tea protects the rats’ retina from diseases caused by diabetes including neurodegenaration disorders.
- Green tea is rich in polyphenols
Polyphenols are antioxidants which have strong anti-diabetic properties. These anti-diabetic properties help increase glucose tolerance and inhibit oxidative stress which is critical when it comes to controlling diabetes. In a study conducted in China, researchers observed that the polyphenols in green tea help reduce adiponectin levels and fat deposits in rats. Adiponectin plays a very important role in glucose and lipid metabolism.
Green tea warnings and precautions
Several studies show that green tea is safe even for diabetics when consumed in moderate amounts. However, there are some warnings and precautions for diabetics who want to consume green tea in a bid to improve their health and general well-being. Avoid taking green tea or consult your physician if you’re pregnant or breast-feeding, if you have a sensitive stomach, or if you’re under medication.