Green tea is known for the countless health benefits it brings. It has strong antioxidant properties and can help with various conditions and diseases. It can boost brain function, help with weight loss, lower the risk of cancer, reduce the symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and much more.
But how can green tea help people with diabetes? Here are the top 5 reasons why green tea is good for diabetics.
Helps You Lose Weight
Maintaining a healthy weight is of paramount importance for diabetics. Decreasing your weight improves your sensitivity to insulin and lowers your blood sugar levels.
Green tea is a good choice for diabetics trying to lose weight. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a cup of green tea has 0 calories, which makes it an excellent alternative to calorie-rich carbonated and sugary drinks.
A study published in December 2013 in the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences examined how different doses of green tea affected patients with type 2 diabetes. The researchers concluded that drinking 4 cups a day facilitated weight loss and regulated blood pressure.
Reduces Insulin Resistance
Insulin resistance is one of the biggest problems diabetics face on a day-to-day basis. High insulin resistance prevents the body from using glucose for energy, which can lead to organ damage and failure.
Green tea is rich in catechins. These chemicals are potent antioxidants and can help people suffering from diabetes reduce insulin resistance by a significant margin.
A study published in the Iranian Journal of Medical Sciences in 2014 examined the effects of green tea on insulin resistance. The participants took three 150ml cups of green tea a day over a period of four weeks. Green tea decreased insulin resistance and increased the levels of HDL in all participants.
People suffering from diabetes know how important it is to monitor and regulate cholesterol levels. Cholesterol can cause problems even for diabetics who are not overweight.
According to a review published in the Journal of Food Processing and Technology in 2014, the polyphenols contained in green tea can have beneficial effects on the levels of cholesterol in diabetics.
Polyphenol is a strong antioxidant that also potentially has anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. It protects the cells from damage too. Green tea contains several types of polyphenols, which make up around two-fifths of its total dry weight.
Improves Brain Function
Green tea contains caffeine in sufficient amounts to act as a stimulant. The amount is lower than in coffee and won’t give you such a strong buzz when you drink it.
Caffeine has been proven to have numerous benefits on the brain and its performance. It lifts your mood, shortens reaction time, and increases memory and vigilance.
Countless studies have been conducted on the effects of caffeine on the brain. The only major downside is that too much of it can cause you to feel anxious.
Has Calming Effects
On the other hand, green tea is also rich in an amino acid called L-theanine. This increases the activity of the GABA neurotransmitter, and so counteracts caffeine’s anxiety-inducing effects. Also, L-theanine boosts the production of alpha waves and dopamine.
A study published in the Journal of Physiological Anthropology in late 2012 found that L-theanine in green tea can be very helpful with stress-related blood pressure increases.
Take a Sip
While it can help with many other diseases and conditions, green tea is also very beneficial to people suffering from diabetes. Among other benefits, it can help with weight loss, insulin resistance, brain function, and stress.