For many of us, a morning cup of tea is a comforting ritual. However, did you know that certain types of tea offer remarkable health advantages? One such tea is dark tea, which has been shown to effectively manage blood sugar and reduce the risk of diabetes, according to recent research conducted by the University of Adelaide in Australia and Southeast University in China. This research was presented at the Annual Meeting of The European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) in Hamburg.
What Is Dark Tea?
Dark tea is a fully oxidized tea variety that has undergone microbial fermentation. It earns its name ‘dark’ tea because the leaves undergo oxidation, causing them to change color. A well-known type of dark tea is Pu-erh, hailing from China. It’s crucial to differentiate dark tea from black tea, which is highly oxidized, green tea, which is unoxidized, yellow tea, which undergoes slight fermentation, and dark tea, which experiences post-fermentation.
Benefits of Dark Tea:
Researchers discovered that individuals who consumed dark tea daily had a 53% lower risk of prediabetes and a 47% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes compared to those who never drank tea. These findings took into consideration established diabetes risk factors such as age, gender, ethnicity, and body mass index (BMI). To fully enjoy these benefits, it’s essential to avoid adding sugar or sweeteners to your tea.
Details of the Study:
The cross-sectional study involved 1,923 adult participants, with 436 of them living with diabetes, 352 having prediabetes, and 1,135 maintaining normal blood glucose levels. The participants included both non-habitual tea drinkers and individuals who exclusively consumed a single type of tea. The researchers investigated the relationship between the frequency and type of tea consumption and parameters such as glucose excretion in urine, insulin resistance, and glycaemic status.
How Dark Tea Works?
The study suggests that dark tea may lower diabetes risk through two primary mechanisms. Firstly, it improves insulin resistance, enabling the body to better regulate blood sugar levels. Secondly, it enhances glucose excretion in urine, reducing the overall blood sugar load.
Additional Dietary Considerations:
While incorporating unsweetened dark tea into your daily routine can be beneficial, it’s crucial to recognize that no single food or beverage can entirely transform your health. It’s essential to monitor your overall diet. In addition to beneficial teas, reducing sugar intake, particularly from refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta, is important. Reducing or eliminating ultra-processed foods from your diet is also recommended, as these are high in fat, sugar, salt, and can promote inflammation in the body. Prioritize natural and whole foods such as vegetables and fruits, which are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and anti-inflammatory compounds. Lastly, staying hydrated with plenty of water is vital, as dehydration can lead to elevated blood sugar levels.