Japanese Green Tea and Diabetes - 10 Reasons Why It is Good for Prevention and Management
According to the Center for Disease Control, almost 30 million Americans have diabetes, and 25% of those do not even know it. Preventing diabetes is a critical part of reducing the long-term health detriments that it is doing to our country. The number of people who suffer from diabetes continues to rise, and another 86 million American adults have prediabetes. Without intervention, up to 30% of people with prediabetes go on to develop type 2 diabetes within a period of five years.
When you have diabetes, your main goal to stay healthy is to regular your blood sugar. Many people use prescription medication and insulin to do this, but studies strongly suggest that drinking green tea can also make diabetes more manageable. Here are ten reasons why green tea is good for the prevention and management of diabetes.
1. Green Tea Can Reduce the Risk of Developing Diabetes
In a study performed in Japan, those who drank at least six cups of Japanese green tea daily decreased their chances by one-third of developing type 2 diabetes compared to people who consumed under one cup per week.
2. The Catechins in Green Tea Have Powerful Health Benefits
Several ideas have been proposed to find the link between green tea and its beneficial effects on blood sugar. Catechins are a natural phenol and antioxidant. They can be found in several foods, including peaches, barley, and vinegar, but are most readily available in green tea. This effective ingredient in green tea has shown itself to be the main attributable factor in reducing the risk of diabetes. (Read more about catechins in my other article.)
3. Green Tea Helps the Body Effectively Metabolize Sugar
People suffering from diabetes are unable to properly maintain healthy blood sugar levels. While insulin is produced by people without diabetes to decrease blood sugar, people with diabetes are not sensitive to insulin, making blood glucose levels rise. A study done on mice found that green tea helps sensitize the body's cells so they can metabolize sugar better.
4. The Polyphenols in Green Tea Make it a Powerhouse for Antioxidants
Polyphenols are great antioxidants that help reduce oxidative stress in the body. They also help arteries to widen, which in turn decreases blood pressure, cholesterol, and prevents clotting. These health benefits reduce the risk of developing any heart disease, which is relatively higher in people who have diabetes than in those who do not. The polyphenols in green tea also aid in the regulation of glucose in the body, which works to control diabetes. (Read more about polyphenols in my other article.)
5. Unfermented Leaves Make Green Tea More Potent Than Other Teas
Unlike some other teas, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center, green tea is especially beneficial because it is prepared from unfermented leaves. This leaves the tea in its pure form, destroying a very small amount of its polyphenols. Drinking green tea from 100% pure leaves that have not been processed is the most natural and effective way to obtain its health benefits.
6. Moderate Caffeine Can Give You Just the Boost You Need
Without physical activity and weight loss, people put themselves at a higher risk of developing diabetes. With the caffeine boost that green tea provides, it can help boost you into motion to get some physical activity. According to the Center for Disease Control, the number one cause of diabetes is obesity. Without containing too much caffeine that is likely to set you up for a crash later in the day, it provides just a slight boost to get you going in the morning.
7. Free Radicals Are no Match for Green Tea
An excess of free radicals contributes to developing diabetes, along with other health problems. The strong antioxidants that are found in green tea work to neutralize free radicals in the body, which can help prevent the damage that they cause. Most doctors believe that free radicals are the primary contributor to aging. They are created through the everyday processes of eating, breathing, and physical activity. Free radicals hurt the body by tearing cell nuclei apart, killing important DNA components. This creates cell mutations, which can lead to many health problems including cancer. As green tea neutralizes these particles before they can damage genetic material, it slows down the aging process.
8. Green Tea Attacks Obesity
Japanese green tea lowers your levels of fatty acids and triglycerides, which control obesity and prevent complications that may surround people who suffer from obesity. Additionally, the catechins in green tea also boost metabolism and are able to reduce your appetite. If you replace your regular soda or sugary beverage with green tea each day, you will be saving yourself hundreds of calories. This is a huge step in the right direction when it comes to fighting diabetes. Read more about this topic on my another article - Japanese Green Tea and Diet.
9. Green Tea Will Help You Exercise
Drinking green tea can help your body burn a higher amount of calories throughout the day than you would if you chose a different beverage. This also helps to increases metabolism and allows you to exercise with more stamina. Green tea also stimulates the nervous system, which begins the process of burning fat. Drinking a cup of green tea in the morning can give you the energy you need to get going and finish a strong workout before starting your day.
10. Green Tea Protects You From Hyperglycemia
If left untreated, hyperglycemia will release oxidative stress leading to health problems like diabetic retinopathy. A Brazilian study researched the benefits of green tea in protecting the retina in rats who are suffering from diabetes. The diabetic rats were given green tea constantly for 12 weeks. The study showed that green tea could protect the retinas of the rats from any disease that is caused by diabetes, such as the neurodegeneration disorder diabetic retinopathy.
Tips for Consuming Green Tea at Home
It is important for those suffering from diabetes to pay close attention to tips for getting the full benefit out of their green tea consumption. Firstly, it is important to drink enough green tea so that it is effective. This equates to about four cups per day. This will provide you with up to 1000 mg of polyphenols per day, which is the desired amount for positive health results and for the body to recover itself from damage. Polyphenols values may vary between 5 to 180 mg per cup of green tea, so you need to consume enough for the best result.
Drink your green tea plain without adding cream, sugar, or milk. This is especially important for people who have diabetes. The addition of sugar into green tea counteracts any weight loss benefits that it provides.
Drink your green tea in the morning to start your day off with an appetite suppressant. This will prevent you from eating large portions throughout the day. Green tea will also stimulate the metabolism, which is best done in the morning.
Remember that drinking green tea alone will not cure diabetes. It is important to incorporate it into a healthy lifestyle with exercise and healthy food. While green tea can help protect your body from diseases such as diabetes or those that are associated with diabetes, green tea by itself will not cure the disease.