Diabetes type 2: The golden drink that ‘significantly’ lowers blood sugar ‘after meals’
Type 2 diabetes can be a 'devastating diagnosis' says expert
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The pancreas secretes a hormone called insulin and the primary role of this process is to regulate blood sugar levels. However, if you have type 2 diabetes, this mechanism does not function properly. The result? Unruly blood sugar levels, which, if left untreated, can cause all manner of complications.
Blood sugar levels spike after eating but you can bring them back under control by drinking chamomile tea, an Iranian study has found.
The study, published in the journal Nutrition, found that drinking three cups of camomile tea a day could improve control of blood glucose (sugar) levels in people with type 2 diabetes.
Researchers from Tabriz University of Medical Sciences aimed to investigate how the effects of camomile tea would affect glycemic control and antioxidant levels in type 2 subjects.
Antioxidants are chemicals that protect or delay against cell damage.
Sixty four participants with type 2 diabetes were recruited, all of whom were aged between 30 and 60.
They consumed camomile tea three times per day immediately after meals for eight weeks. A control group also followed this routine, but they drank water instead.
The camomile tea group had “significantly” reduced HbA1c and serum insulin levels, as well as significantly increased total antioxidant capacity compared to those in the control group, Diabetes.co.uk reported.
The term HbA1c refers to glycated haemoglobin. It develops when haemoglobin, a protein within red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout your body, joins with glucose in the blood, becoming “glycated”.
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The researchers in the study concluded that camomile tea could be useful in reducing diabetes risk factors.
They added: “Short-term intake of chamomile tea has beneficial effects on glycemic control and antioxidant status in patients with type 2 diabetes.”
However, the researchers noted that a larger sample population and a longer intervention period would be necessary in order to demonstrate significant clinical improvements.
General tips to lower blood sugar
As a general rule, you should go easy on certain carbohydrates because carbs are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose.
Carbohydrate foods that are broken down quickly by your body and cause a rapid increase in blood glucose have a high glycaemic index (GI) rating.
GI is a rating system for foods containing carbohydrates.
It shows how quickly each food affects your blood sugar (glucose) level when that food is eaten on its own.
High GI foods include:
- Sugar and sugary foods
- Sugary soft drinks
- White bread
- White rice.
Low or medium GI foods are broken down more slowly and cause a gradual rise in blood sugar levels over time. They include some fruit and vegetables, pulses and wholegrain foods, such as porridge oats.
Type 2 diabetes – symptoms to spot
Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.
Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:
- Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
- Feeling thirsty all the time
- Feeling very tired
- Losing weight without trying to
- Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
- Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
- Blurred vision.
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