Did you know…that drinking green tea with starchy food may lower blood sugar spikes?
Keeping your blood sugar levels balanced is a prerequisite for a disease-free life.
High blood sugar (blood glucose) is proven to raise your risk for diabetes and heart disease and accelerate aging. When blood sugar levels spike, body fat accumulates and it becomes increasingly difficult to maintain or lose weight.
Obesity in turn contributes to serious medical conditions such as heart attack and stroke, high blood pressure, cancer, gallbladder disease, and osteoarthritis.
Science has uncovered a gem of a cure to control and lower blood sugar naturally. A low dose of green tea can stabilize blood sugar levels by limiting the amount of glucose that passes through the intestine and into the bloodstream.
What is it about Green Tea?
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, green tea helps prevent and treat diabetes by increasing insulin activity by more than 15-fold. Your body produces insulin to control the amount of blood sugar absorbed by your tissues. Diabetics suffer from ill-functioning insulin; not enough glucose is absorbed into the tissues and excess blood sugar accumulates in the bloodstream.
Animal studies have shown that substances in green tea called polysaccharides mimic insulin and lower blood sugar levels by restricting the amount of glucose the liver produces.
According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea made from unfermented leaves is also the best source of catechin polyphenols—potent antioxidants shown to:
- Suppress the growth of cancer cells
- Prevent free radical damage to cells and tissues
The Superstar Catechin That Balances Your Blood Sugar
A study conducted by Penn State researchers and published last month in Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found that a catechin in green tea known as EGCG was able to lower blood sugar levels in mice. Although human studies need to be conducted, scientists are optimistic that this find will lead to new gains in diet and wellness for humans.
Researchers grouped mice according to body weight and fed them either corn starch or a sugar molecule. These groups were subdivided into a control group and a variable group that was fed a compound of EGCG (the human equivalent of 1.5 cups of green tea).
Results showed that blood sugar levels decreased dramatically in mice fed corn starch and EGCG.
Overall, these mice had blood glucose levels 50% lower than those of the control group. The corn starch combined with EGCG is key; however, as the EGCG had no noticeable effect on blood sugar levels in the mice that were fed a sugar molecule.
Head researcher Joshua Lambert, assistant professor of food science in agricultural sciences, says,
“If what you are eating with your tea has starch in it then you might see that beneficial effect. So, for example, if you have green tea with your bagel for breakfast, it may reduce the spike in blood glucose levels that you would normally get from that food.”
In order to benefit, green tea and starch must be consumed at the same time.
Green Tea is for Everyone
Of course, a cup of green tea a day is beneficial even if you aren’t particularly concerned with monitoring your blood sugar levels. The polysaccharides and polyphenols in green tea help destroy malignant cancer cells, burn calories, and protect against heart disease.
One more tip: fight the urge to add a lump of sugar; it negates the health benefits of this superior liquid tonic.