According to recent statistics, around 25% of the American population is currently prediabetic, with the UK not dramatically far behind. The time to act is now, but how can one’s morning cup of Tea help? The frequent consumption of certain types of Tea, meanwhile, can increase insulin activity owing to its abundance in polyphenols, according to a 2002 US-based study.
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What all types of diabetes have in common is that they cause people to have too much glucose (sugar) in the blood. Though glucose provides energy in safe doses, too much can lead to adverse side effects, particularly in those suffering from type-1 and type-2 diabetes.
We get glucose when our bodies break down the carbohydrates that we consume, which in turn is released into our blood. Additionally, we require insulin, which is made by our pancreas, and it’s insulin that allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies. Diabetes sufferers will either experience difficulty producing the right amount of insulin for the body to transport the glucose to the cells, like with type-2 diabetes, or be unable to make any insulin at all, as is the case with type-1 diabetes.
The US study, however, noted that, although any Tea can offer this benefit, including Black Tea, Green Tea, White Tea and Oolong Tea, the addition of milk decreased the insulin-sensitising effect. As such, should you wish to drink Tea for this purpose, we recommend serving it without any accompaniments.
Confirmation of these findings came in 2009 as part of a Dutch study, which indicates that drinking three cups of Tea (no matter the type) a day could, very potentially, reduce the risks of developing type-2 diabetes by up to 40%. It also noted, though, that other factors including eating minimal amounts of processed foods, eating fresh vegetables regularly, exercising frequently, not smoking and keeping alcohol intake low all contributed significantly to these reduced risks. Consider one’s morning cup an aid, not an answer.