Oolong and Diabetes
The drinking of tea dates back more than 4,500 years and it has become a staple part of the diet in both Eastern and Western cultures. Tea has been found to have many healthy benefits to the mind, body and spirit so has often been prescribed along with medications for certain ailments such as diabetes. Diabetes is known as a chronic condition where blood sugar levels are elevated. People with diabetes do not usually make sufficient amounts of insulin (type 1 diabetes) or the insulin they make is not properly used by the body (type 2 diabetes). Insulin is a particular bodily hormone that helps to move glucose through the blood thereby providing energy to the cells of the body.
There are many types of tea that are consumed which have been shown to have surplus benefits to the body apart from simple hydration. One such tea is oolong tea. Oolong tea is Chinese in origin, specifically coming from the Camellia sinensis plant. This same plant also produces leaves that can be used to make green tea, another prominent tea variety which has been proven to have significant benefits. The primary difference between green and oolong tea is the methodology in which they are prepared. The leaves are picked, and then shaken before being dried. Prior to being dried, the leaves are bruised which allows them to undergo a particular type of oxidation and fermenting process. Oolong tea provides a strong and sweet flavor to the individual consuming it and is known for its relatively low amount of caffeine.
Oolong tea may be beneficial then to individuals who have diabetes. In a 2003 study published in Diabetes Care, researchers set out to discover whether oolong tea had any potential benefit by stabilizing glucose levels in type 2 diabetics. The study consisted of 20 individuals who drank oolong tea or water for 30 days. The researchers were able to determine from the results that oolong did indeed decrease the blood sugar levels in individuals who received the tea for the monthly designated timeframe. Oolong tea has also been shown to be beneficial to those who seek to lose weight. Weight issues are often a problem for type 2 diabetics as well. It is important when purchasing oolong tea that the diabetic do the research as to the best types of oolong teas. Most tea experts state that loose leaf teas have a better quality. These are not often available in grocery stores, but are often found in Asian markets and health food establishments. When considering drinking oolong tea as a part of a weight loss diet, the diabetic should speak with a healthcare professional to ensure they are able to work the oolong into their daily routine. It is important to hydrate the body when drinking any tea, especially oolong. Drinking water helps in controlling the amount of toxins that are present within the body via flushing out the system. This also allows for the benefits of oolong to be absorbed into the body therefore providing the necessary vitamins and nutrients the diabetic needs.
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