There are many anecdotal and traditional medicine claims about green tea as a superfood (or super-drink in this case). While many traditional medicines are very beneficial, it’s better to have research backing up the stories. Our team likes green tea for the taste, for the soothing nature of a warm drink. But, we got curious about whether the health benefits we’ve heard about are real. Researchers have, indeed, seen many potential uses for green tea, including that it appears to aid blood sugar.
Before we get into the research, let’s first look at the difference between black and green tea. Both teas are from the same plant; it’s their preparation that makes them dissimilar to one another. Green teas are dried quickly to avoid fermentation and oxidation. Because of this, green tea keeps its color and grassy flavor. Black teas are allowed to dry slowly, fermenting them. The longer they take to dry, the more oxidized they become and the deeper the taste grows. Green tea has been enjoyed in China for around 3,000 years.
Modern research has shown that there are many potential positive health impacts associated with drinking green tea, for your whole body. Drinking green tea with starchy foods has been found to curb blood sugar spikes up to half. The effect is most powerfully seen when drank in conjunction with food, not after the meal. These results were seen in mice studies in 2012. Now, scientists say that people who are aiming to use green tea to aid their blood sugar should aim to drink one to three cups a day.
Researchers in Japan have shown that the polyphenols, especially catechins, found in tea help decrease glucose uptake in adipose tissue. The find may shed light on why tea can aid your metabolism and blood sugar levels. Reading all these results is impressive. When a team combined the findings of 17 trials, with 1,133 participants in all, they saw that green tea significantly reduces fasting blood sugar levels as well.
It goes without saying that tea should never be consumed in the place of medications. And, if you have concerns about any interactions tea could have with your current health plan, you should speak to your doctor. But the research is in: green tea may be exactly your health’s cup of tea!