Green tea offers a large number of health benefits, some of which are especially beneficial for those with diabetes. For example, drinking green tea may help reduce cellular damage, decrease inflammation, and optimize blood sugar control.
Some of the ingredients in green tea, including epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), have been shown to stimulate the uptake of glucose into skeletal muscle cells, therefore reducing blood sugar levels.
A review of 17 studies that included 1,133 people with and without diabetes found that green tea intake significantly reduced fasting blood sugar levels and hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), a marker of long-term blood sugar control.
Furthermore, studies show that drinking green tea may help reduce the chances of developing diabetes in the first place.
These studies generally advise drinking 3 to 4 cups of green tea per day to reap the benefits mentioned above.
- Japanese sencha. Japanese Sencha is a classic in the world of green tea.
- Japanese kukicha. Kukicha or a twig tea is tea made from twigs and stems, rather than leaves.
- Matcha Green Tea.
- Genmaicha Green tea.
- Jasmine Green tea.
- Guranse Estate green tea.
- Dragon Well.
Black tea has potent plant compounds, including theaflavins and thearubigins, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and blood-sugar-lowering properties.
A rodent study suggests that black tea intake interferes with carb absorption by suppressing certain enzymes and may help keep blood sugar levels in check.
A study in 24 people, some of whom had prediabetes, demonstrated that drinking black tea beverages alongside a sugary drink significantly reduce blood sugar levels, compared with a control group.
Another rodent study showed that black tea may also help encourage healthy insulin secretion by protecting the insulin-secreting cells of the pancreas.
As the case with green tea, studies on black tea generally recommend drinking 3 to 4 cups per day to reap notable benefits.
- English Breakfast Tea.
- Earl Grey.
- Assam Black Tea.
- Yunnan Black Tea.
- Darjeeling Black Tea.
- Keemun Black Tea.
- Ceylon Black Tea.
- Lapsang Souchong.
Hibiscus tea, also known as sour tea, is a brightly colored, tart tea made from the petals of the Hibiscus plant.
Hibiscus petals contain a variety of beneficial polyphenol antioxidants, including organic acids and anthocyanins, which give hibiscus tea its bright ruby color.
Drinking hibiscus tea has been shown to have numerous beneficial effects on health, one of which is lowering blood pressure levels to reducing inflammation. This is helpful for diabetics since high blood pressure is common in people with diabetes. In fact, it’s estimated that over 73% of Americans with diabetes also have high blood pressure.
Additionally, studies show that hibiscus may help reduce insulin resistance.
Cinnamon is a very popular spice, it has reported antidiabetic properties.
Many people take concentrated cinnamon supplements to help reduce their blood sugar levels.
A study in 30 adults with normal blood sugar levels demonstrated that drinking 3.5 ounces (100 mL) of cinnamon tea before ingesting a sugar solution led to decreased blood sugar levels, compared with a control group.
Another recent study showed that taking 6 grams of a cinnamon supplement daily for 40 days significantly decreased pre-meal glucose levels in healthy adults.
There are a number of mechanisms by which cinnamon may help reduce blood sugar levels, including slowing the release of sugar into the bloodstream, enhancing cellular glucose uptake, and promoting insulin sensitivity.
Turmeric is a vigorous orange spice that’s well known for its powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin, the main active component in turmeric, has been studied for its blood-sugar-lowering properties.
Studies suggest that curcumin may promote healthy blood sugar levels by improving insulin sensitivity and increasing glucose uptake in tissues.
A 2020 review of human and animal studies found that curcumin intake was linked with significantly reduced blood sugar and blood lipid levels.
The review noted that curcumin intake may help reduce cellular damage, decrease levels of pro-inflammatory compounds, and improve kidney function.
Tumeric tea can be made at home using turmeric powder or purchased from health food stores.
It should be noted that piperine, a major component of black pepper, significantly increases curcumin bioavailability, so don’t forget to add a sprinkle of black pepper to your turmeric tea for maximum benefits.
Lemon Balm is a soothing herb that’s part of the mint family. It has a bright lemony scent and is enjoyed as an herbal tea.
Research suggests that lemon balm essential oils may help stimulate glucose uptake and inhibit glucose synthesis in the body, leading to decreases in blood sugar levels.
A study in 62 people with type 2 diabetes found that taking 700-mg lemon balm extract capsules daily for 12 weeks significantly reduced fasting blood sugar, HbA1c, blood pressure, triglyceride levels, and markers of inflammation, compared with a placebo group.
Although these results are promising, it’s unclear whether drinking lemon balm tea would have the same effect on blood sugar levels.
Chamomile tea has been associated with a number of health benefits, including promoting healthy blood sugar regulation.
A study in 64 people with diabetes found that participants who drank 5 ounces of Chamomile made with 3 grams of chamomile 3 times per day after meals for 8 weeks experienced significant reductions in HbA1c and insulin levels, compared with a control group.
Chamomile tea not only has the potential to optimize blood sugar control but also may help protect against oxidative stress, an imbalance that can lead to diabetes-related complications.
The same study mentioned above found that the participants who drank chamomile tea had significant increases in antioxidant levels, including those of glutathione peroxidase, a major antioxidant that helps combat oxidative stress.