People with diabetes typically have to avoid certain foods and beverages, especially if they are sugary. Energy drinks, sugary sports drinks, sodas, and bottled juices tend to be off limits for diabetics, but that’s not the case for teas. Certain teas have proven to be very beneficial for people with diabetes. Some varieties may help increase insulin sensitivity, reduce inflammation, promote weight loss, and aid with blood sugar control. All of these things are essential for managing diabetes.
How Can Tea Help People With Type 2 Diabetes?
Unsweetened teas have powerful health properties that benefit people with or without type 2 diabetes. For diabetic patients, though, certain teas contain compounds that can help control blood sugar and inflammation. Drinking tea is a great way to provide the body with hydration and antioxidants that fight free radicals, which can damage cells. Many health experts believe that oxidative stress, caused by free radicals, is one contributing factor to the onset of type 2 diabetes. Choosing teas, then, that contain plant compounds that combat cellular damage is a step in the right direction. Additionally, hydrating the body with teas has been associated with more balanced blood sugar levels. In fact, one meta analysis found that drinking three cups of tea daily resulted in a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
Discover the perks of drinking the following teas if you are looking to help control or reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Oolong tea comes from the same plant that green tea and black tea come from. Made from oxidized leaves from the Camilla sinensis plant, oolong tea may help to improve cognitive function and bone health. For diabetics, oolong tea may promote weight loss and improve heart health. One study found that drinking oolong tea helped control blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Additionally, the polyphenols in oolong tea may offer protective effects against diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and arthritis.
According to laboratory studies, rooibos tea may encourage weight loss. Obesity is one of the primary contributing factors to type 2 diabetes. One study found that diabetics who were able to control weight were able to better control blood sugar and reduce the progression of the condition. Another study found that rooibos tea may inhibit fat cell formation, which may decrease the risk of obesity. Rooibos also contains aspalathin, which is a compound that may help to lower blood glucose levels. A 2019 study found that aspalathin may work to reverse metabolic complications that increase the risk of weight gain. Plus, rooibos tea may lower bad cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
Ginger tea has a classic zing and is beneficial for sore throats or upset stomachs. However, new research points to the fact that ginger may work to lower fasting blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes. A 2015 study that was published in the Journal of Complementary and Integrative Medicine observed diabetics who didn’t take insulin and supplemented with ginger. After three months of ginger supplementation, the group experienced improvement in glycemic control. Researchers believe that ginger tea helps to inhibit enzymes that play a role in carbohydrate metabolism and increased insulin sensitivity.
Native to many European and Western Asian countries, chamomile is an aromatic plant that offers numerous health benefits. Several studies found that drinking chamomile tea works to decrease blood sugar levels. Additional studies found that chamomile contains anti-inflammatory properties that may inhibit damage to the pancreas. The pancreas helps to maintain balanced blood sugar levels, so this is good news for type 2 diabetics. A 2018 study found that chamomile tea may improve insulin resistance and glucose management. At the end of that same eight-week study, type 2 diabetics also also experienced a reduction in inflammatory markers.
Aside from calming an upset stomach, peppermint tea works to promote relaxation, which is good news for your A1C. Several studies found that diabetics with high stress levels experience blood glucose spikes and crashes. Calming the body and reducing stress often works to balance blood glucose, making them easier to control. A past study found that inhaling peppermint aroma via a diffuser helps to reduce anxiety, anger, and overall frustration. If you experience high stress and have diabetes, peppermint tea may be right for you!