Green Tea and Diabetes - Recommendations and Alternatives
By Kevin B. May 4th, 2020
Tea for diabetes
Diet is a key factor for treating diabetes. Part of the diet is what you drink. And drink with added sugar should be avoided, but did you know tea is also highly recommended for anyone with diabetes?
Green tea and diabetes
A growing body of research shows how drinking green tea can help people prevent the onset of diabetes. But green tea is also good if you are already diagnosed with diabetes. The polyphoenols in green tea help reduce oxidative stress and widens the arteries, decreasing blood pressure, prevents clotting and reduces cholesterol. All these activities reduce the risk of heart disease, which is elevated in people with diabetes.
Lower blood pressure and weight loss, (which green tea also helps) increases insulin sensitivity and lowers blood sugar levels. Green tea contains high levels of catechins (a type of anti-oxidant) that helps reduce the effects of insulin resistance by decreasing the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates.
Green tea alone will not control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, it needs to be complemented with a balanced diet that's low in added sugars, simple carbs and saturated fat. Follow up with monitoring your numbers carefully to track progress.
Drinking green tea may also decrease the risk of developing type-2 diabetes. Studies have shown that those drinking green tea were up to 33% less likely to develop this form of diabetes. Green tea has other benefits including a calming effect due to it containing L-theanine. It helps reduce anxiety and stress and prevents stress-related increases in blood pressure.
Green tea and diabetes - how much should you drink?
Drinking moderate amounts of green tea daily is a good start, 3-5 cups is usually the sweet spot to get the maximum benefits. Never sweeten your green tea. Use alternative sweeteners as a last resort, stevia being the preferred variety. Green tea does contain a small amount of caffeine, around 25mg, so be sure log your reaction from drinking it. Luckily, you can get decaf green tea as well. You should avoid bagged tea as well, since the potency and quality is lower than loose tea.
Matcha Green tea and diabetes - another alternative
Matcha is a form of green tea that is dissolved in water. This means you are drinking the tea leaf, not just the infusion. Plus it contains soluble fiber which is also beneficial for those with diabetes.
Other tea recommendations
Many herbal teas offer benefits and nearly all of them are caffeine free. Here are some that are noteworthy:
Hibiscus is also worth a look. There are numerous studies linking hibiscus with lower blood sugar and blood cholesterol levels. Plus it is high in anti-oxidants. You can try hibiscus by itself, also many fruit tisanes include hibiscus.
There is some evidence that cinnamon might help control blood sugar in people with type 2 diabetes. You will want to stick with herbals that contain good amounts of cinnamon, not simply a cinnamon flavored tea.
Greek mountain tea
This unique herb grows in the Mediterranean region. One study has found that Greek mountain tea is as potent as green tea at inducing cellular antioxidant defenses and preventing oxidative stress. Although it has a lower concentrations, the effects ere similar due to higher bio-availability.
How to purchase
Luckily, you've come to the right place. We've added some of our recommendations below. Any green tea, flavored or unflavored and matcha would be a good starting point. To make it even easier, we created a sampler pack of teas curated by our tea experts. These include green tea, cinnamon tea and hibiscus tea. It's a great way to explore these teas quickly. And as a thank you for reading our article, simple sign up to receive a 15% off coupon for our sampler.