Diabetes is a disease that is slowly taking over. It currently affects an estimated 143 million people worldwide and the number is growing rapidly. In India, about 5 per cent of its population suffers from diabetes. According to the official WHO data, India tops the list of countries with the highest number of diabetics followed by China & America in the year 2000, the total number of diabetics in India stood at 31.7 million and is expected to rise by more than 100% in the year 2030 to account to a whopping 79.4 million.Regular checkup’s and timely detection can really help manage and control this disease at an early stage , but due to patient resistance and feeling of disbelief that ‘I can have diabetes too’, most patients tend to defer on detection and treatment that often leads to complications.
It occurs when your blood glucose, also called blood sugar, is too high. Blood glucose is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas, helps glucose from food get into your cells to be used for energy. Sometimes your body doesn’t make enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use insulin well. Glucose then stays in your blood and doesn’t reach your cells.
Over time, having too much glucose in your blood can cause health problems. Although diabetes has no cure, you can take steps to manage your diabetes and stay healthy.
A diabetic will have to depend on medicines for survival. He will have to take oral medicines or injections every day to control the level of insulin in the blood. This really gets frustrating, as a constant thought will haunt you for rest of your life that you are a diseased person and your survival depends upon daily dosage of medicines, not to mention the side effects of these medicines.
The pharmaceutical companies are really cashing on this. The graph below shows the revenues earned by few of the top pharmaceutical companies selling medicines to diabetics.
There is no replacement for these medicines, but we can supplement these medicines with many naturally available foods and herbs which definitely helps in keeping diabetes at bay or at least work in sync with these medications. Food items like berries, grapes, apples, pomegranate, Broccoli, onions, garlic, tomatoes, eggplant, spinach, cranberries, blood oranges, blackberries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, lemons, limes, and kiwis really help in suppressing this disease.
Do you know what is common in all these food items which make them excellent against diabetes? Well it’s a naturally found substance called polyphenols. polyphenols are phytochemicals, found abundantly in natural plant food sources that have a tremendous amount of antioxidant properties.
One of the best known sources of polyphenols is tea , specifically green tea. It is considered to be best as unlike any solid food items it is a fluid which you can drink as much you like in a day and hence increase the amount of polyphenols you consume with each sip. Each cup of green tea contains 100mg of polyphenols.
Animal studies suggest that green tea may help prevent the development of type 1 diabetes and slow the progression once it has developed. In people with type 1 diabetes, their bodies make little or no insulin, which helps convert glucose or sugar into energy. Green tea may help regulate glucose in the body. Research also suggests that regular consumption of green tea may help manage type 2 diabetes.
In traditional Chinese and Indian medicine, practitioners used green tea as a stimulant, a diuretic (to help rid the body of excess fluid), an astringent (to control bleeding and help heal wounds), and to improve heart health. Other traditional uses of green tea include treating gas, regulating body temperature and blood sugar, promoting digestion, and improving mental processes.
A 2013 research review published in the Diabetes and Metabolism Journal outlined the potential benefits of tea when it comes to diabetes as well as obesity, which is a risk factor for diabetes. It highlighted a Japanese study that found that people who drank 6 or more cups of green tea a day were 33 percent less likely to develop type 2 diabetes than were people who drank less than a cup of green tea a week. It also reported on Taiwanese research that found that people who drank green tea regularly for more than a decade had smaller waists and a lower body fat composition than those who weren’t regular consumers of green tea.
A person who cultures the habit of including green tea in his daily food is sure to benefit from its innumerable health benefits including prevention and managing diabetes.
Happy tea drinking.