Natural Ingredient in Black Tea May Help with Type 2 Diabetes

loose_teaResearch tells us that a healthy diet plays an important role in diabetes prevention and management. Indeed, what we eat and drink may impact the way our bodies control the digestion of carbohydrates, which in turn affects the way we process blood sugar, or glucose. Recently, several studies have looked at black tea as a possible ally.

Building upon an earlier study from Japan, scientists in the United States recently conducted a study using black tea extract to determine whether or not the natural chemicals in the tea may help prevent type 2 diabetes—a chronic condition that affects how the body metabolizes glucose and maintains healthy blood sugar levels.

The body uses certain digestive enzymes to break down carbohydrates and form glucose, and in both studies researchers were able to determine that the antioxidant chemicals called polyphenols that are found in black tea actually slowed down that process and lessened glucose formation. Previous studies have found similar effects with green tea, which typically has a higher level of polyphenols and less caffeine than black tea.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common type of diabetes. It currently affects nearly 30 million Americans every day, but key factors such as diet, exercise, and maintaining a healthy weight are critical to preventing or delaying its onset. Experts agree that drinking tea regularly may benefit those with type 2 diabetes by helping the body manage glucose levels more efficiently.

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Sugar Cravings? Talk a Walk!

walkingBenjamin Franklin once said nothing is certain except death and taxes. Obviously he forgot about sugar cravings. Despite doing everything right, many of us just can’t get through the day without those pesky little hankerings getting in the way. What’s the solution? According to researchers in Austria, it may be as simple as taking a walk.

Scientists from the University of Innsbruck recently recruited a group of overweight individuals to participate in an interesting study. All of the men and women were used to a high-sugar diet but were asked to avoid sugar for three full days, after which they underwent a series of tests.

In a lab, participants were instructed to do one of two things for a period of 15 minutes: walk briskly on a treadmill or simply sit still. They were then asked them to perform specific tasks intended to produce feelings of stress—since stress and anxiety often trigger sugar cravings. Notably, the participants who had spent time on the treadmill reported only mild cravings and exhibited lower stress levels and a more positive mood.

Results of the study, published last month in the journal PLOS ONE, indicate that “short bouts of physical activity” may play a key role in helping to reduce sugar cravings in people who are overweight, especially during stressful situations.

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