Research 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.